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The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
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The Violets of March (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Sarah Jio

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5135519,781 (3.78)34
Member:Froggles
Title:The Violets of March
Authors:Sarah Jio
Info:Penguin Group (2011), Hardcover
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:American fiction

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The Violets of March by Sarah Jio (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
This book came up as a recommendation when I was poking around the library site looking for a new book for my ride to work. It looked like it had potential, so I gave it a shot.

Emily goes to visit her aunt to try and find inspiration for a new book. Her aunt, Bee, is the kind of strong and fiercely independent and doting aunt I think many of us wishes we had. She puts Emily in her mother's old room and she finds a red velvet journal in one of the drawers and can't resist beginning to read it. And there the mystery begins as she emerges herself into the lives of the people in the pages of Esther's journal and she begins to ponder who Esther really is.

Its a charming little tale of forbidden love and family secrets that no one wants to talk about. Its a story within a story. The tale from the past and the mystery of who they really were and the investigation in the current as she learns of her family and the secrets they have all kept that has created rifts in the relations. Agreed, the story itself is not particularly original, but it is in the way Sarah Jio writes it that makes it intriguing. Its not so much that I was caught up in suspense and needing to see what happened next. But, I did get very much immersed in the lyrical style of her writing. The story was well told. Granted, it drug a bit at times, but not overly much so.

I think some of what I liked the most in this novel was the interaction between Emily and Bee and some of the other characters. She created wonderful characters that were believable and human. I do accept that part of the charm I found in the book was the author's obvious love of the islands of the Sound, which I understand now that I am myself a resident of one. The only negative I have on this book is that I feel there were too many loose ends at the end of it. I am not sure if she intends this to be the first in a series, but I don't think it lends to a second book. Even if it did, the end should have been tied up a little bit better. Not wishing to give away any spoilers, simply there were questions that were left open that I think should have been answered. That said, I found it to be a very good novel. Even more so that it was a debut novel.

I have read some of the other reviews and many of them are overly harsh on this writer and her book. I have attempted to read books by seasoned authors that couldn't come close to the natural ability of this writer. I suppose the book could fall under the umbrella of chic lit, but it doesn't to a level that I would find distasteful. Its a charming read by a writer that is definitely worth watching in the future.

SephiPiderWitch
http://sephipiderwitch.com/violets-march-sarah-jio/ ( )
  sephibitchwitch | Dec 8, 2014 |
Ironically, I just finished an ARC of “Goodnight June”, Sarah Jio’s latest book to hit the streets on May 27, 2014 (which I loved) and highly recommend. At the end, an excerpt of “The Violets of March” was included, and realized this was her debut novel --immediately started reading.

Having read the first and latest- trying to get to the ones in the middle. The only other book I have read, “Morning Glory” which I loved. Currently reading Blackberry Winter --The Bungalow, and the others are making their way quickly to the top of my “to read list”!

Emily thinks she has it all until her marriage fails with her husband leaving her for another woman. Her successful writing career will go up in smoke if she does not get over writer’s block. She then decides to go to her favorite spot- Bainbridge Island, where she spent her summers growing up visiting her Aunt Bee with fond memories of the past.

When she finds a diary from 1943, there is much to follow which will keep you turning the pages to learn more from each of the diary entries, holding secrets from the past, plus much more. “Violets of March” offers so much in this short read with captivating events and dynamic characters – Mystery, Romance, History, Lies, Secrets, and Love-- full of twists and turns.

There is a parallel between her current love life, and two exciting men and that of Ester’s life, as she is transported to another era and time, while discovering what is important to her.

Sarah Jio has a way of holding back just enough with surprises and wisdom at the ending, for an engaging read and characters you think of fondly, long after the book ends. A magical debut novel!
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
This story begins when Emily Wilson sets out to Puget Sound to visit her Aunt Bee after she and her husband divorce due to his infidelity. She is devastated and intends to try to make sense of her life again. But wait . . .

At her aunt's house Emily finds an old diary in the nightstand drawer next to her bed. There are people and events she reads about that sounds vaguely familiar. Her aunt doesn't want her to associate with certain people on the island. Years ago her mother and her aunt had a falling out but never found out why and neither of them will talk about it. Her aunt's friend Evelyn tells Emily that she will be the one to finally make everything right. She sees the same photograph of a beautiful woman in different homes on the island but nobody will talk about this mysterious woman. Emily continues to read the diary while she puts the pieces of the past together.

Needless to say I couldn't put this book down until all these questions were answered. This book was definitely a page turner and one I read quickly. Definitely recommended for those liking a bit of mystery and past/present stories.

How I acquired this book: Guessing Barnes & Noble earlier this year.
Shelf life: Less than a year. ( )
  missjomarch | Nov 11, 2014 |
A great read! ( )
  ShiraR | Nov 6, 2014 |
Excellent! Emily goes to visit her aunt on Bainbridge Island, a place she'd gone for years as a child, to forget about her recent divorce and figure out her next steps. While there, she reads a mysterious diary, and finds that the diary was written by the grandmother she'd never known. While trying to figure out what happened on that fateful night in 1943 when her grandmother disappeared, she is met with resistance and opposition. Determined to uncover the truth, she discovers not only that love can last a lifetime but that she is capable of loving once more. ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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.
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Epigraph
"And the riverbank talks of the waters of March / It's the end of all strain, it's the joy in your heart." -- From "Waters of March" by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Dedication
To my grandmothers, Antoinette Mitchell and the late Cecelia Fairchild, who instilled in me the love of art and writing and a fascination with the 1940s
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"I guess this is it," Joel said, leaning into the doorway of our apartment.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452297036, Paperback)

***A Library Journal Best Books of 2011 Award Recipient***

A heartbroken woman stumbled 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:44 -0400)

In a mystical place where violets bloom out of season and the air is salt drenched, a heartbroken woman stumbles upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author.

(summary from another edition)

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