Review: The Bungalow

The Bungalow

The Bungalow
By Sarah Jio
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452297678, December 27, 2011, 320pp.)

The Short of It:

An easy, effortless read matched with a lush, tropical setting.

The Rest Of It:

It is the summer of 1942. Anne Calloway, in her early twenties and newly engaged, makes a split decision to join the Army Nurse Corps. She loves her fiancé but questions if their relationship has the passion to make it work. That, and the deep need she feels to do something for her country sends her to Bora-Bora, where she meets Westry. At first, they are just friendly, but when they begin to share a very special place with each other, they find that they cannot ignore the attraction any longer.

What I love about Sarah Jio is that she takes what could be a very sappy romance and turns it into something else. Yes, there is romance and many are always shocked when I read a book like this one, but it takes more than romance to pull me in. For one, the setting. A gorgeous, lush, tropical beach locale and a cozy little bungalow overlooking the ocean…my dream getaway. Two, the fact that World War II looms over them, a constant reminder that their world could be shattered at any moment. Three, a mystery involving the murder of a local and quite possibly, Anne’s closest friend.

I picked this up thinking that I’d read a few chapters and ended up reading it in one sitting. It’s a page turner, for sure. I will say, that the details surrounding the mystery seem a little out there. Not sure that part was as realistic as it could have been, but overall, the story was well-paced and enjoyable to read.

If 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 fantastic setting.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Net Galley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

22 thoughts on “Review: The Bungalow”

  1. I bought this because of your review…and I know I will love it…again…you have a way of sharing a book that makes me know I want to read it…except for that IQ 94 one…lol…

    1. I still have to write the review for 1Q84. I just feel as if whatever I say won’t do it justice but I am going to hit Starbucks this weekend, laptop in hand and belt that puppy out. Oh… puppy. Should not have used that word.


  2. I’ve seen a couple of reviews for this one, which all have been positive. I might have to check this one out at some point. Still making my way through those short stories by Murakami you recommended.

  3. This does sound like a cozy little comfortable read with just enough substance and intrigue to make it engrossing. I would love to read this book at some point, and loved reading your thoughts on it. Very nice review!

    1. And I really, do not care for romantic undertones in a book. I do in my movies, but not my books and this one, although most definitely a romance had more to it. Enough to keep me interested. Also, I am a sucker for a good setting.


  4. I’ve sort of wanted to read her first book but haven’t gotten to it.. I’ll definitely have to read this one. I love the setting too!! Does sound perfect.

  5. I won a book from The Thankfully Reading Weekend and this was one of the choices so I chose it. After reading your review, I am anxious to get it! I still have to read Violets. They both sound like books I will love!

  6. Glad to hear your back is better. I loved Violets of March, so with confirmation from your review I am looking forward to reading The Bungalow. It is also a perfect fit for the 2012 What’s In A Name Challenge – type of house, if you are doing that challenge.

    1. I am never successful at challenges so I don’t do them anymore. As soon as I start one the reading becomes work. However, The Bungalow would be a perfect fit for that one.


  7. This sounds like a nice, effortless with a setting I love! I like that there’s some romance, some crime and some intrigue and no sappiness! I still haven’t read Sarah Jio’s first book

  8. I don’t know why but I’ll read anything set during WWII and the fact that this is set on an island has me liking the sound of it even more!

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