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September 8, 2013

The Violets of March



The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
Fiction
2011 Plume
Finished on 7/22/13
Rating: 3/5 (Fair)





Publisher’s Blurb:

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.

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.

Nearly a decade 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 an intriguing dual story line, The Violets of March announces Sarah Jio as a writer to watch.

Sarah Jio and her debut novel, The Violets of March, have been on my reading radar for a couple of years now, thanks to a few of my favorite bloggers. After returning home from two wonderful vacations in the Pacific Northwest, I decided there was no better time to give the book a read and return to Bainbridge Island.









How is it that Pam, Marcia, Staci and Kay all loved this novel and I came away from it feeling so let down? Unlike the others, I found the opening chapters lacking in substance and the overall story somewhat trite. The mystery is convoluted and I spent far too much effort trying to figure out which current day character might be representative of the people mentioned in the diary. This is a quick read, but it was a bit too fluffy for me.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re in the mood for a light, fluffy read this might be just the ticket. I don't know if I'll ever try any other books by Jio, but I do know that I'll return to Bainbridge Island!

20 comments:

  1. I've read one of Jio's books and thought it was okay. She relied on coincidences a lot in it, though.

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    1. I'm not sure I'll try any more by her. I don't care for a book with a lot of coincidences and I'm not a big fan of books with alternating time periods.

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  2. I remember liking this one a lot, but who knows if I would love it as much if I reread it now. Sometimes, I can overlook things that might annoy or frustrate me and sometimes not (like my feelings about GONE GIRL). I loved the setting though. I do remember that and the fact that I was on vacation in AZ when I read this one. I enjoyed the AZ vacation, but I wished that had been in WA while reading it. :-)

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    1. Yes, the setting was lovely. But, I think I should stick to nonfiction books when I want to revisit a location. I have a few in my stacks about the Pacific Northwest. Not sure why I haven't taken the time to read them!

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  3. Sharon2:42 PM

    I liked this a lot even though it was contrived. I read her second one and really forced myself to get through it. I had a hard time believing it was the same author.

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    1. Oh, dear. That doesn't bode well for me to continue with this author.

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  4. I enjoyed Last Camilla by Sarah Jio, but not ready to read another by her yet.

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    1. Hmmm, I see a trend here...

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  5. I read this on a recent train trip to New York City. It was the perfect travel diversion... not too taxing, not too substantive, and I just loved the setting! I have a couple of her other books and will save them for similar circumstances.

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    1. I'll await your reviews, JoAnn!

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  6. 3/5 is probably what I would have predicted as your rating, Les. I guess for me it was one of those right time/right book situations. I liked her second book, The Bungalow, but haven't been able to finish Blackberry Winter which, according to Goodreads, I started on July 3--and that was my second attempt to start and finish the book.

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    1. Hmmm, I appreciate all the replies here and think I'll skip anymore by Jio.

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  7. I felt much the same way about this one and thought I must really have missed something.

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    1. I thought I missed something, too! Well, I'm glad I haven't purchased any others by this author. I know she has a lot of fans, but her writing isn't for me.

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  8. I said that I thought it was a little too...too unbelievable, too coincidental, but I was in the mood for it and it worked. I can see though, if you are not in the right frame of mind it might be just a little too....

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    1. That's right, you did! Timing plays such a big part in a reading experience. I wonder how many novels would've been bigger hits had I read them at a different time in my life...

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  9. This is a bummer! Surprisingly enough, I really enjoyed The Bungalow so I was looking forward to this one. Hmmm. It may sit on my shelf a bit longer now.

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    1. Hmmm, maybe I should try The Bungalow. Or wait until you've read this one so you can tell me how it compares. :)

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  10. I didn't think it was "light or fluffy or trite or convoluted" :<)) But why am I not surprised? We are an amazing duo!!

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    1. We really aren't reading twins, are we?

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