Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio


The Violets of March
by Sarah Jio
Plume, 2011
304 pages
source: purchased e-book

Summary: (from goodreads)
A heartbroken woman stumbled 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.

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.

A mesmerizing debut with an idyllic setting and intriguing dual story line, The Violets of March announces Sarah Jio as a writer to watch.

My thoughts:
One of the best things about my kindle is the Daily Deal email from amazon which offers four books specially priced (usually $1.99 or $2.99) for one day only.  It encourages impulse purchases of books I've been meaning to read or authors I want to try. And at that price, I allow myself to ignore my "only buy books I will start today" rule. Violets of March was a recent Daily Deal and Sarah Jio is an author I've been meaning to read, so I couldn't resist.

Traveling home from NYC last month, I was craving something a little lighter and remembered Violets of March on my kindle. For the next five hours, I was transported to the idyllic setting of Bainbridge Island, Washington and became lost in the novel's dual story lines. A present-day tale of love and mystery blended seamlessly with one from the past, told through the pages of a recently-discovered old diary.

Violets of March was the perfect diversion. I didn't mind that we were delayed, or that the guy behind me talked constantly (and loudly) on his cell phone, or even the close quarters of a very full train. Although I didn't quite finish by the time we pulled into the station, I managed to carve out just enough time the next day to reach the satisfying conclusion.

On a side note, I love when other books are mentioned in my reading. Here, Year of Grace  by Margaret Ayer Barnes, a 1931 Pulitzer Prize winner, played a role in both stories. It seems to be out of print now, but I'm keeping an eye out for a used copy.

My experience with Violets of March  was definitely a case of the right book at the right time. Thank you, Staci for recommending this author to me. I plan to read more by Sarah Jio.

My rating:



Bottom line:
A little more romance than my usual fare, but a delightful change of pace.

43 comments:

  1. The Violets of March is one of those novels that the blogging world seems to enjoy so much that I was excited for book club to read it. I knew the discussion wouldn't be the most verbose, I at least members who find a new author to enjoy. Of course, those ladies continually shock me and , thus, hated The Violets of March! I'm so glad you enjoyed though. I think it's definitely a great read for a certain mood and the sense of place was wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brooke - I can see that there would be little to discuss with a book club, but I'm surprised to hear they hated it. Oh well...

      Delete
  2. I finished reading The Violets of March yesterday and loved it. The ending was really sweet. As you note, the characters and setting draw you in immediately and the mysterious bits of the plot kept me engaged. I have 2 more Sarah Jio novels in the queue that I hope to read over the summer.

    Catherine @ Book Club Librarian
    http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine - My mother just gave me a copy of Blackberry Winter and I've added it to my summer reading pile.

      Delete
  3. Isn't it wonderful when that happens? That's one definite advantage of an e-reader ... even though I was on a much shorter train ride, I was very disenchanted with the book I was reading the other day and saved my ride home with ten minutes with Undine! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audrey - You can never go wrong with a little dose of Undine! Are you catching up with the read-along?

      Delete
    2. I just started May! I'm hoping to at least finish on time. :)

      Delete
    3. Audrey - I know you can do it!!

      Delete
  4. I enjoyed this book last year but I understand why some would not. I had to be in the right mood, or frame of mind, to read it. That's how it works with me--maybe the book club members weren't in the mood for a sweet, dreamy type of story at that time. Anyway, glad you liked it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rita_h - For once my timing was just perfect... if I'm not in the right frame of mind, a novel like this might not be quite as enjoyable.

      Delete
  5. I don't know how I've gone this long without reading Jio. Sigh. I need more hours in a day ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer - I sure know that feeling! I'll never read all the books I want to... never.

      Delete
  6. I've been loving Sarah Jio's books. I'm waiting on the newest one from the library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda - Hope your wait isn't too long. I'm so glad Staci introduced me to this author!

      Delete
  7. I am so glad that you picked it up on the Daily Deal and then had that time to read it!!! Out of all of her titles, this is still my absolute favorite. I love it when other books are mentioned within a story too. Good luck tracking that title down!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Staci - I knew I'd read Sarah Jio eventually, and the stars just lined up for me that day! I think it will be hard to top this one, but a copy of Blackberry Winter is waiting...

      Delete
  8. I gave this to my daughter for Christmas, and I keep meaning to borrow it. She liked it a lot. Should I wait and read it in March? :<)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nan - Somehow I have a feeling your March is not quite the same as a Bainbridge Island March ;-) At least reading about violets blooming may be very welcome!

      Delete
  9. I've yet to read any of her books, but every time I read a review of one, I yearn. I think I may even have a couple on my shelves. I just need to find time when I am in the mood, like you were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy - I think mood is the operative word here...choose the right time and enjoy!

      Delete
  10. Once of my favorites from last year. I know I need to read the rest of her books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacybuckeye - I thought I remembered seeing it on your blog!

      Delete
  11. I don't remember ever hearing or seeing this author's name before, but I'll be checking the library now. I love the setting - islands in general, but the Washington coast is even better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - This book was a little more escapist than what I tend to choose. I love island settings, too, and now want to visit this one!

      Delete
  12. I've seen the author's name coming up over and over again with several books. On my TBR list to get to eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mystica - I hope you enjoy Jio's books.

      Delete
  13. I know I need to get to her books! Everyone seems to love them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jill - Read this when you are in the mood for something a little lighter.

      Delete
  14. I need to pull this off my shelf and read it. I read Bungalow by Sarah Jio and really enjoyed it. It was light and transported me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colleen - I'll put Bungalow on my list, too. Thanks!

      Delete
  15. I adore all of Jio's books and am thrilled to actually know of a local author to me! Bainbridge Island (the setting in Violets) is just a shore ferry ride from my house and a delightful place to visit. Glad you liked it!
    *smiles*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim - I've added Bainbridge Island to the list of places I want to visit... will be sure to let you know when I get there! :-)

      Delete
  16. I love it when one book references another book, too. There's a literary term for it but it escapes me right now. Like you I always want to check out the book that is mentioned!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Replies
    1. Vintage Reading - Thank you!! I've been trying to remember that term, too!

      Delete
  18. I just read my first Jio book and loved it! So, I'm thinking I will definitely have to pick this one up. I love the way she mixes the past and present so seamlessly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nadia - So she blends past and present in her other books, too? That makes me even more excited about reading her other books!

      Delete
  19. I love when the right book falls into my hands at the right time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - Me, too... and this was definitely one of those times!

      Delete
  20. I have Jio's most recent book and hope to get hold of Violets of March as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harvee - Hope your experience with it just as positive as mine!

      Delete
  21. The Violets of March is one of those books that every blogger I follow seems to have read and loved. I bought myself a copy last year during our employee discount days, but have not taken the time to even read the back cover. Now that I know it's set on Bainbridge Island, I'll be sure to read it as soon as I finish Under the Dome! We were just in Bainbridge last month and have been trying to figure out a way to move there! ;) Love that area and love that Island! My dad lives in Kingston, so we got to spend a lot of time touring the area. Even went to their Wooden Boat Festival. Anyhoo, thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les - I'd never heard of Bainbridge Island before starting Violets of March (even had to google to see if it was real), but now I want to visit! It's a perfect summer read... hope you enjoy it, too.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

I understand commenting has been a challenge lately, so will now allow anonymous comments. However, I will moderate comments on older posts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails