July 6, 2013

THE VIOLETS OF MARCH by Sarah Jio

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
Paperback, 304 pages
Kindle, 436 KB
Published April 26, 2011 by Plume
ISBN-10: 0452297036
ISBN-13: 978-0452297036
Audio Addition, 9 hours and 22 minutes
ASIN:  B0054K72DO

A heartbroken woman stumbles upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author.

In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.

Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily's good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

A mesmerizing debut with an idyllic setting and intriguing dual story line, The Violets of March announces Sarah Jio as a writer to watch.

 
My Thoughts on The Violets of March

I love books that can alternate between present day and moments in the past, whether it be flashbacks or diary entries.  It’s not easy to keep the reader equally interested in past and present day and author Sarah Jio does both brilliantly.

This is my first book by Ms. Jio and I am impressed and enchanted with her writing. The Violets of March is a hauntingly and yet sweetly romantic book, one that will leave you yearning or relating.  For me, I read this book at a time when my own marriage fell apart and strange as it sounds, the book gave me comfort and hope.  I could close my eyes and imagine myself at Aunt Bee’s house on Bainbridge Island, with the healing sea close by.  Is it so wrong that I wished I could transport myself through the pages of this book and put myself in Emily’s shoes? 

I found Emily to be a well written protagonist.  She was no shrinking violet (pun intended).  I could relate to her fluctuating emotions and her confusion over her marital situation.  I could relate to her quest to learn about the diary’s author and her desire, and yet inability, to write. 
And let’s talk about Aunt Bee.  I loved Aunt Bee!  From her old VW to her feisty spirit, she was exactly what Emily - - and all of us! - - need.  She was a cheerleader, a supporter and that stepping stone that allowed Emily to move forward and on to the next chapter of her life. 

If you are a fan of pleasing romances, The Violets of March will hit your sweet spot.  If you like a historical mystery, this will do the trick for you as well, although the book is definitely more romance.  There is nothing objectionable about this book.  It has wonderful pacing, with absolutely no drags in the prose at all.  It will leave you with a soft and warm place in your heart and yearning for more. 

The Violets of March is a wonderful beach read, as well as one to while away a rainy afternoon - - because you won’t want to put this book down until you have devoured it.  I hated for it to end, even as I was anxiously looking forward to how Emily’s story would end.  Thank you, Sarah Jio, for writing such a beautifully earnest story and any sequel would be well received by this reader!
In short, The Violets of March is easily one of the best books I've read this year and goes on my all-time favorites list. 
The Violets of March is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.  

For more information on author Sarah Jio, please visit her website.
 
FTC Disclosure:  This book came from my own personal collection.  I was neither compensated nor paid in any way for this review.