Review: The Violets of March

The Violets of March

The Violets of March
By Sarah Jio
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452297036, April 2011, 304pp.)

The Short of It:

Thoroughly charming.

The Rest of It:

After her husband leaves her for another woman, Emily decides to spend a month on Bainbridge Island, visiting her Aunt Bee whom she hasn’t seen in quite some time. Being on the island is like a restorative tonic. She settles in immediately and thinks back to happier times. When things were less complicated and well…simple. 

One night, unable to sleep, she opens her nightstand and finds a red velvet diary. The love story inside reads like a novel so she’s not sure if what she is reading is a true story, and if it is…who are these people? Emily, a successful writer by trade, is completely taken with the writing and finds herself eagerly turning the pages whenever she can sneak a moment away from her Aunt. What she doesn’t know, is that the diary holds a family secret that could change her life forever.

The Violets of March is a good mix of setting, story and characters. The setting, gorgeous Bainbridge Island, is hard to ignore. While reading this book, I could smell the ocean, feel the breeze, etc. The story was a little meatier than I expected which I thoroughly enjoyed. There’s nothing like a good family secret to really keep you guessing. I also found the characters to be quite charming. Emily is very likable and I immediately wanted the best for her. Her Aunt Bee was interesting and complex and the friendships on the island are wrought with tension, but realistically so.

To sum it up, I had a hard time putting it down and I’ve already mentioned the book to a few of my friends. Pull up a beach chair, grab a refreshing drink and read it this summer.

This is Sarah Jio’s first book, but her next book, The Bungalow, comes out next year. Click here is you want to see the cover! It’s gorgeous!

Source: Sent to me by the author.

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43 Responses

  1. I love a good “woman healing” story :) The family secret mystery just adds to this book’s allure for me…gonna move it on up the TBR :)

  2. I loved this book. Read it on my vacation and just loved it. I spent a lot of time puzzling out who was who or who might be who from the diary. And, yes, it was meatier than I expected too. The cover of THE BUNGALOW is lovely. Wonder if they will keep that flower theme. It’s nice. And, I’m also wondering if I know what character from this book will make a cameo. I suspect I do. Thanks for sharing, Ti!

    • I’m wondering if we’re thinking of the same person! I was surprised at how much I liked this. I adored the setting (who wouldn’t?) but I really liked Emily.

    • Kay, can’t wait to hear your guess for which VIOLETS character makes his/her way to THE BUNGALOW. It may surprise you! xo

  3. I’ve been thinking about reading this book and was first attracted by the cover and then by Sarah’s website. But what really encouraged me were the many positive reviews. I was a little surprised & also intrigued when I saw you were reading this book. I’ve been watching for your review and you’ve confirmed my hopes: that the story goes beyond the surface and has some complexity to it. The setting is terrific, too. I’ve never been to Bainbridge Island but I’ve seen photos and have heard how beautiful it is.

    Glad you enjoyed this book, Ti!

    • I know! I thought it would be a bit too “fluffy” for me. I don’t care for straight women’s fiction, but the story within a story thing was a nice surprise and the setting is great for summer (although it’s rainy in So Cal at the moment). I just read another one that I thought would be too chick-litty and it totally reeled me in. That review posts in a couple of weeks.

    • Hi Amy! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the story. And, if you ever visit Bainbridge, you will LOVE it! xo

  4. this book is definitely on my wishlist, I enjoyed reading your review!

  5. Excellent review! This book has been on my TBR list, seems like it is worth it!

  6. YEAH – we are reading this book for the MMBC this summer! Let me know if you have any questions for the author (or want to join us).

    • Hi Mari! Can’t wait to join the discussion with the MMBC! Email me a reminder of the discussion date. I think I have a date in June on my calendar… xo

  7. This books sounds like such a great read for the summer. Loved your review of it – I’d seen other reviews for it, but yours caught my attention. Cheers, Ti!

  8. Hi Ti! Thanks again for the lovely review. I’m overjoyed that you liked VIOLETS. And, I should tell you that I’m off from Glamour this week working fast and furiously on my third novel. And guess what scene I just wrote last night? A visit from Emily and Jack in book #3! And, they have big news! I love having my characters come back for cameo appearances! xoxo

  9. Thank you for sharing your review of Violets of March. It sounds like one I would also not want to put down and will be looking it up!

  10. This is one of those books I’ve really been wanting to read. So glad you liked it so much!

  11. It sounds like I need to get to this book soon!

  12. I’ve only spent a few hours on Bainbridge, but I loved it. I didn’t realize the island had such a presence in this novel…sounds like I need to read it!

  13. I have to read this one…too…I have the Gin and Chowder Club…you are so sweet…I will read it soon…I am sort of overwhelmed with YA stuff…some reviews etc…I have a hard time saying no…

  14. I’d seen this around a lot earlier in the spring — lots of buzz — glad to see it lived up to the hype. It seemed a bit too chick lit-ish for me but from your description (‘meatier’ is always promising!) I’m reconsidering. It helps when one likes the heroine — I’d tolerate a lot for a good heroine.

  15. I’ve been seeing this around but yours if the first review that made me actually want to read it.

  16. I have this in my summer reading pile. I bought it after reading so many great reviews for it. The day it was released was the first day I had violets blooming in my yard..maybe it’s a sign that I need to read it! Great review! I really enjoyed it.

  17. I absolutely loved this one too and my review goes up tomorrow. I see that we both visited Jio’s blog and left her some feedback!! I can’t wait to read her second book out next year!

  18. I’m so hoping to get to this one in June! Sounds like I will thoroughly enjoy it.

  19. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so I can’t wait to get that e-mail from the library telling me I can pick it up!

  20. Gack, I forgot how much extra work a 10 month old boy adds to the day. Finally getting around to the blogs. I’ve had this on my list and can’t wait to read it and not just because the cover is gorgeous. And now I have to add The Bungalow, and not just because the gorgeous. Great review.

    • A 10 month old will keep you busy. That’s for sure.
      Heck…even a 7 and 12 year old! LOL. The Boy is out of school and bored already and The Girl’s last day is Friday. Whew!

      Sent from my BlackBerry

  21. This one sounds like a lovely summer read!

  22. Okay, I’ve been looking at this lovely cover at the store. Now you have convinced me to put it on my to-read list. Thanks for a great review. Hoping my stack of to-reads won’t finally topple over:)

  23. An amazing book…any writter that can put you right into the story is truely gifted. I found myself not wanting to put it down…in tears afew times and totally not wanting it to come to an end. I felt so connected to the characters in the story . Thank you Sarah, can’t wait for the next one….:)

  24. What a great book….loved it and kept me in the story from the first page to the last. Bravo, Sarah!!!!

    • If you liked Violets, you’ll probably like The Gin and Chowder Club too (by Nan Rossiter). I reviewed it as well. Loved it.

  25. [...] More Reviews At: Devourer of Books – Life In the Thumb – Book Chatter – Jenny Loves to Read – Book Line and Sinker – Jenn’s [...]

  26. [...] you enjoyed Sarah’s first book, The Violets of March, you’ll enjoy this one as well. It has the same, easy feel to it and once again includes a [...]

  27. [...] Ayn Rand 27. The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson 28. Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card 29. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio 30. In Stitches by Anthony Youn, M.D. 31. The Gin & Chowder Club by Nan [...]

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