Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Violets of March - Book Review

During all the craziness last week, The Violets of March by Sarah Jio was my escape. Instead of laying in the hotel bed worrying about all the mess and stress, I just opened the pages of this book and lost myself in the story.

I must admit that I went to great lengths to get a copy of this book. For some reason when I read an early review and heard that it would be released in May, I just knew I wanted to read it. Perhaps it was because my dear, dear college friend grew up on Bainbridge Island, WA and the island is the setting for this story. Or maybe I was just drawn in by the promise of a buried secret discovered in a long-forgotten diary. I'm a sucker for those kinds of stories.

Emily, the protagonist, is a gorgeous and best-selling author who is suffering from writer's block and her husband just left her for another woman. Hoping to heal, she escapes to her great aunt's home on Bainbridge Island. On this beautiful island, Emily discovers the old diary containing a mystery that inspires her to write. And of course, she just might find love again. Ultimately, it is a story of forgiveness.

There's nothing especially new or earth shattering in The Violets of March. It's a typical healing-from-life story with some romance and ancestral mystery on the side. It could have been a little longer. The story would have benefited from more character development. But also, I didn't want it to end because I liked it. I like it a lot.

Jio writes well. It is easy to get wrapped up in Emily's story and the story in the journal. I could barely put the book down until I finished the last sentence. Jio uses the setting to her advantage in building the plot. While Emily's story is rather predictable, Jio is successful at writing enough twists and turns into the story contained in the diary to keep the reader guessing until the end.

The Violets of March is a perfect book for the beach (in spite of the cold and wet, I believe summer is coming), to read on an airplane or at the hotel while your house is being cleaned up after a flood. If you're going on a trip, grab a copy and throw it in your suitcase. You won't regret it.

Maybe I can talk my college friend into taking a trip with me to Bainbridge Island this summer. I'll just make her read this book. It will probably be more difficult/impossible to convince Utah Dad.

After some mild begging, I received a free copy of this book from the publishers. However, this is my honest review and I have received no compensation.


Jessica McCann said...

Great review. This book has been on my very long "to read" list for a while now, but based on your review I think I may have to move it up in the roster a bit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Jessica McCann
Author of the novel All Different Kinds of Free

anna said...

I just finished catching up on your blog - I am so sorry about your house. At least you got some new carpet, right? We miss you guys and were so happy we could be there for Amy's baptism, and the book sale, and staying at your house. We had so much fun. By the way, Clarke gave me the day off and I went to the museum of fine art and gazed at the paintings without anyone complaining about being bored and dragging me to the exit. And I rode the escalator! The escalator - that never happens with a stroller - it was awesome. Sometimes a little alone time is a good thing, but it is always nice to get back to the people we love.

And, can I come on your trip to WA? sounds fun.

Booklogged said...

I'll go with you, Cindi. Of course, Myke will never let me go back to one of favorite places without insisting on coming along, too. He can do the driving, we can do the sight-seeing and deciding where we should eat, where we just sit and soak in the elements, etc. I'm really good at dreaming about trips...