Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

Title: The Violets of March   
Author: Sarah Jio       
Published: April 2011, Plume Books  
Format: Paperback, 296 pages   
Source: Personal copy   

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: So I am quite late to the Sarah Jio fan-club as this is only my second book by her, but can I just say - I love her books, or at least I've been fortunate enough to have loved the two I've read - this and The Look of Love. Besides being quick reads (and who doesn't love a quick read!!!), they are simply beautifully written stories that you just find yourself getting lost in.

What I loved about The Violets of March were the characters. I felt so invested in Emily's story - I wanted her to find happiness after her life is turned upside down. When she goes to stay at her great-aunt's for the month, I felt like I was right there with her - the setting was so vivid and well-drawn. I also loved the dual-line narrative - this time using a journal to take us back in time. I admit, I'm a sucker for dual-line narratives when they're done well, and this one was definitely done very well! And I was equally invested in both Emily and Esther's story - each time the book switched from one story to the other, I wanted to go back to the other one. I just wanted to know more about both of them at all times! Usually I find that I'm more interested in one than the other, but this time I completely entranced in both stories.

I love when I get so wrapped up in a novel that my heart aches for the characters. That is how I felt about both Emily and Esther. The mystery kept me glued to the pages as did the promise of a budding romance for both women. There are a few twists and turns that keep the book from becoming predictable, but it is also quite moving and touching. It is beautifully written and at it's heart it is about forgiveness and love. 

I am definitely looking forward to picking up more books by Sarah Jio. I have Goodnight June on my shelf and will hopefully be reading that soon. If you are a fan, what is your favorite book of hers?



  1. There is a gal in my book club that suggested reading one of her books. I think we are later in the year. I am not a huge fan of Women's Fiction but if it is done well I can get lost in it occasionally :)

  2. I've only read Goodnight June but it was enough to make me a member of the Jio fan club! I've almost picked this one up from the library about ten times. It sounds like I need to go on and pick it up next time!

  3. I have been a Sarah Jio fan from the first book. I actually liked two of her first books better than the more recent books. This and Blackberry Winter are my two favorites.

  4. I have come to enjoy Sarah Jio in the last year too. As you haven't read that many I mustn't have discovered her here, like I have some other authors. I really enjoyed this one on audio and liked Goodnight June too especially as it is 'booky', The only other one I've read is Blackberry Winter so I see I have about four more of hers to read.

  5. I loved this book when I read it a few years ago. I can even remember exactly where I was - on vacation in Scottsdale, AZ. I've also read BLACKBERRY WINTER and liked that one so much too. Why haven't I read her other ones? I need to do that. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  6. This sounds very touching, Kristin. I enjoyed your enthusiastic review. I have not yet read any novels by this author, but I want to!

  7. I've been saying I will read a Sarah Jio book but just haven't had the time!! Your review just makes me feel like I should really make the time to try her books that everyone raves about.

    1. I've read just one book by this author and liked it very much. I do hope I will be able to get to this one.


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