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The Violets of March (2011)

by Sarah Jio

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7306622,165 (3.73)58
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.
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» See also 58 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
This is an excellent book! It is a very sweet story about love and relationships. The book opens with Emily signing divorce papers after her husband cheats on her. She goes back to Bainbridge Island, where she used to go as a child, to heal and sort out her life. While on the island she discovers a diary from a woman, named Esther who grew up on the island in the 1940's. The book alternates between Emily's story and Esther's story. In this diary Emily discovers things about her life as well as this Esther's life. In order to heal her future, Emily must first heal past wounds of the people in her life. There is a bit of a mystery in this story as well. Sarah Jio does a wonderful job keeping the reader engaged. I found myself wanting to know what happened to these characters. ( )
  Martha662 | Jun 27, 2020 |
The author uses the curious nature of wood violets which have bloomed on the island in an off-season to signal promise and redemption for the future. Great Aunt Bee tends and protects these flowers but actually the story is suppose to center more around the mysterious red velvet diary that Emily finds....but what it actually did was give me a list of unbelievable and seemingly impossible events. One or two would have been okay but there was t least a half dozen or more. For example...
1. Months worth of events were indicated to have occurred in three weeks time.
2. Emily meets someone...falls in love and gets engaged after three dates in three weeks...you have to bear in mind that she had just divorced the "love of your life". (her words, not mine)
3. Emily simultaneously dated two new men within that three week period and she hadn't seen one of them in ten years. (When did she find time to research her new book?)
4. The date on the letter from her grandmother was one day after her grandmother dies...and the list goes on. Name changes throughout were also confusing. I've read much better by Sarah Jio. ( )
  Carol420 | Apr 7, 2020 |
Even though I enjoyed this book and the journey it took me on, I wanted more. At times the plot felt rushed and contrived, especially the present day romance between Jack and Emily. And why did every guy who met Esther and Emily fall in love with them? Both women had three men (if you include Emily's ex-husband near the end of the novel) vying for their attention simply because they were beautiful. It was like reading a love triangle on steroids!

Personally, I thought Emily, especially, was a fairly bland, uninspiring protagonist - she was just too passive. I would have liked her to have been stronger, more independent and far more interesting than she was.

The mystery was okay, although fairly predictable, but it was all the secrets that had me rolling my eyes. There were just too many to be believable. However, the descriptions of Bainbridge Island were beautiful and I loved the front cover. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Mar 12, 2020 |
2.5 Stars.

I know and have known some fabulous octogenarian women but there is not a one that could be or could have been a pallbearer no matter how dearly loved the friend as Bee at age 85 did for Evelyn. Yes, it is fiction but to me it was simply ridiculous. Prior to that scene, I liked Aunt Bee but then she started slamming her bedroom door a lot in her retreats from conversation with Emily. Really?

I did enjoy reading the setting of Bainbridge Island as I know it is home for author Susan Wiggs and family.

I usually do not have any difficulty keeping track in my mind of the various relationships of the characters to one another. In this novel, I felt like I needed charts - family trees and lists of friends. I don't enjoy paging backwards to try and figure out "Who's who?" I did a few times and then just gave up and kept reading.

I obviously made the connection between the discovery of the wood violets in the garden and the title of the novel but it felt like a gimmick to me. I wasn't surprised to learn that it was an "added thread" for the novel. Please see story on author's website at this link.
https://sarahjio.com/2011/05/19/the-violets-that-inspired-the-violets-of-march/ ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Jan 27, 2020 |
After her marriage breaks up, writer Emily heads to her Aunt Bee's house on Bainbridge Island during the month of March to put her life back together. Bee puts her in a guest room that she's never been in before - a pink room - and in it she finds a diary from 1943, which seems to have connections to her own life. As she reads it, and researches the clues that lie within, she finds that it was written by her grandmother who died....or did she? ( )
  nancynova | Apr 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (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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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.

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