Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: The Violets of March

The Violets of March
By Sarah Jio
Publication date: April 26, 2011

My review:

When Emily Wilson's marriage falls apart, she accepts an invitation from her Great Aunt Bee to spend a month on Bainbridge Island. Emily is eager to get away and she has always liked spending time with Bee. She also has questions about her family, particularly why Bee and her mom don't get along anymore. When Emily arrives, she finds a diary hidden in the guest room. The entries are from the 1940s and appear to be written by a woman named Esther. Is it a fictional story of Bee's or was Esther a real person? There are a lot of mysteries and as Emily seeks answers to her questions, she may find more than she bargained for as well as a chance for love and healing.

At first glance this appears to be a familiar plot device: the heroine's husband cheats, she flees to some place from her past or an exotic locale/beach to heal from her hurts and finds love or peace. While this is still true for The Violets of March, it is the kind of story that pulls the reader in. The diary entries and secrets of Bainbridge Island made me keep turning pages well into the night. I thought the historical parts of the book were the best and though I could guess some of the secrets I was still surprised by some of the revelations. 

I loved reading about the inhabitants of the island especially Bee, her best friend Evelyn, and Emily's love interest, Jack. I enjoyed the writing style, the romance, and the parallels in Emily and Esther's stories. The use of diary entries was really effective as well as the symbolism of the flowers (the title has a particular meaning in the story). I think The Violets of March would appeal to fans of Nicholas Sparks though I consider it superior to his writing. If you enjoy a good love story, second chances, and uncovering secrets then you should consider The Violets of March

Readalikes: Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans, Patti Callahan Henry


  1. I really enjoyed this book and a big part of that for me was the setting. Made me want to visit Washington State again. I loved the historical aspects as well and who can resist a hidden diary? LOL

  2. I just started this one, so far so good!

  3. I love your last line that compares it to other books. Great call!


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