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The Last Camellia

by Sarah Jio

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2593677,291 (3.78)3
"On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes. More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple's shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener's notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?"--Author's web page.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Mijn volledige recensie is terug te vinden op:
https://www.linda-linea-recta.nl/de-geheimzinnige-tuin/

Nooit verwacht dat het boek me zo zou pakken.
Ik ben oprecht positief verbaasd, en kon nauwelijks stoppen met lezen.
Blijkbaar had ik door de cover de indruk dat dit een Feelgoodroman betrof, maar het is gewoon een reuze spannend verhaal.
( )
  LindaKwakernaat | Nov 29, 2018 |
This was a very nice mystery story. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
I’m a fan of author Sarah Jio’s. I adored The Violets of March and Goodnight June. I also like Blackberry Winter, but that novel had its drawbacks. And as sorry as I am to have to say this so does The Last Camellia.

One of the things that I like about Jio is that most of her stories have dualing timelines, and this one is no exception. In 2000, Addison Sinclair’s ugly past is rearing its head. She grew up tormented in a foster home by a boy who also lived there. Now he is out of prison and stalking Addison. Luckily for her, her in-laws have purchased an old estate in England. She convinces her husband that Livingston Manor would be the perfect place for him to do research for his new novel. It didn’t take much convincing and within a week the couple is taking up residence at his parents’ new pet project.

The manor is daunting. It’s huge, with wings and suites. It also comes with a staff who seems to have been there since the before World War II, especially the housekeeper, Mrs. Dilloway, who reminded me of Mrs. Danvers from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Addison, a botanist, is enchanted with the orchard, especially the camellia trees. When she stumbles upon the late Lady Anna’s old gardening notebooks, questions begin to rise.

In the dualing time line, Flora, and amateur botanist, leaves America for England in 1940 under false pretenses. She goes to Livingstone Manor as a nanny, but in actuality she is searching for the Middlebury Pink, a famed camellia that is virtually extinct. An international ring of flower thieves has convinced her to go look for the tree. The thieves threaten her parents if she doesn’t cooperate.

The story moves quickly and easily. In the beginning, it was unputdownable. But as the plot progressed, more and more questions were brought up than were answered. By the time I finished, I was ready to throw the book across the room. It was almost Jio got bored, didn’t want to make the novel any longer, or was on a tight deadline. There are so many unanswered plot points.

Since I half loved, half hated The Last Camellia, it gets 3 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 6, 2018 |
My favorite so far in my (unintentional) Year of Sarah Jio reading.

The story revolves around the elusive Middlebury Pink, a camellia supposedly propagated from a rare tree much loved by the Queen of England before it was hit by lightning. Rumors persist that the cutting was sold to the owners of Livingston Manor, and that it still grows on the grounds. The story flips between two young women - Flora, who was hired to come to the Manor in 1940, as a flower thief under the guise of governess, and Addison, a garden designer with a hidden past whose in-laws purchased and plan to renovate the Manor. The parallel mysteries kept me eagerly turning the pages. While locals think the manor haunted, the truth lies hidden in the camellia orchard - pain and sadness, and possible madness. But from whom?

I loved the story. That I have had a life-long fascination with camellias certainly helped, but Jio's work continues to be enjoyable. ( )
  wareagle78 | May 17, 2015 |
Sarah Jio, once again at her finest, in this thought-provoking drama, full of mystery and adventure within the pages of The Last Camellia. I am slowly making my way through Jio’s book (this is my fifth, and look forward to reading the remainder on my “to read list”). Each book includes a masterful talent of bridging the gap between past and present, for an ultimate thriller of suspense, history, and intrigue.

On the eve of the Second World War, in the 1940’s, Flora a lover of plants and flowers, travels to England to assist with an international ring of flower thieves locate a rare camellia plant (Middlebury Pink),and poses as a nanny at the Livingston Manor where supposedly the camellia is hidden.

Jump ahead a century to NYC in the early 2000s, where Addison, a garden designer lives at the manor now owned by the family of her husband Rex, a writer. Hidden secrets resurface with two compelling story lines, as they parallel between two different women from murder, affairs, lies, and betrayals.

Between the two stories of Flora and Addison, Addison’s story line seemed more intense; however enjoyed the cliffhanger and buildup of Flora’s character.

As usual, the historic aspect is always apparent and strong within Sarah’s novels, as slowly the past, and secrets of this old house begin unfolding, while the gardens, orchards, flowers, and camellias come to life.

If you love Kate Morton and Diane Chamberlain, as I do, you will love Sarah Jio as highly recommend. A complex story of mystery, secrets, regret, and redemption-- grabbing you from page one to the end.

I urge you to read Sarah’s newest release “Goodnight June”, coming 5/27/14, as received an advance reading copy ---sure to please her biggest fans and followers!

http://judithdcollins.booklikes.com/post/834424/-thelastcamellia
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
My destiny is in your hands.
-- The meaning of the camellia flower, according to the Victorian language of flowers.
Dedication
For my mother, Karen Mitchell, who introduced me to camellias and all the other beautiful and important flowers in the garden.
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A Cottage in the English Countryside
, April 18, 1803: The old woman's hand trembled as she clutched her teacup.
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"On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes. More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple's shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener's notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?"--Author's web page.

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