GGG Book Club: Sarah Jio’s Novels

Hi Lovelies!  I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and are having a great Monday so far. I was lucky enough to spend Friday night with my best friend and sorority Big who was in town. It was so wonderful to be reunited and feel caught up on each others lives.

Since I haven’t had internet for a little while now, I’ve been finding that I’ve been reading even more than usual lately which I enjoy but my wallet doesn’t- those books add up! I have read a lot of great books, but realized I’ve never posted about my favorite author- Sarah Jio.

In general, I’m a pretty quick reader, but I have read all of Jio’s books in one sitting each. I’ve found that despite downloading them just before bed, I find myself desperate to know what’s going to happen and unable to put the book down, regardless of how late it may be! Because I’m never one to keep a good thing to myself, I thought I’d share with you a little about her amazing books. One thing they all have in common is that they are written in the past and present, constantly switching between the two in a way that keeps you interested but is never confusing. She also finds a way to include a love story (essential in my eyes for a good book) and a mystery- but not of a scary nature. Rather, each book has characters trying to figure out what happened to X and I’m always so desperate to know the whole story, that I can’t put the book down. They are full of twists and turns that will keep you reading and somehow she manages to tie it all together neatly in the end. She has a background in magazine writing (Glamour & O the Oprah Magazine) so her books are well written but very approachable for any reader.

The Violets of March

Amazon Summary:

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.

Review:

This is Jio’s first novel and in my opinion, one of her best. The book reads like a movie as her characters are so well-developed and the imagery is so clear that you can easily picture them. It’s hard to tell you too much about this book without giving the plot away, but I’ll share that when I reread the last chapter in preparation for writing this review, it gave me chills. All I can say is: read this book, you will NOT be sorry!

The Bungalow

Amazon Summary:

A sweeping saga of long-lost love, a mysterious painting, an unspeakable tragedy and the beach bungalow at the center of it all …

In the summer of 1942, newly engaged Anne Calloway sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.

A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne’s determination to discover the truth about the twin losses–of life, and of love–that have haunted her for seventy years.

Review:

One of the things I loved about this book was how the “past” story was set during the war. I’ve heard so many stories from my Grandma about this time and I loved contrasting those with the experience that the nurses had- how very excited they were for this big adventure, not sure what to expect. There’s something about war that breeds romance too and that is very present in Bora Bora, and it is one that is all consuming and everlasting.

Blackberry Winter

Amazon Summary:

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator’s.

Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 “blackberry winter” storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways…

Review:

This was one of my favorites of Jio’s novels. I admit that in the first I was skeptical whether I would like it having read books about missing children before that were scary and upsetting. This was nothing of the sort. Rather, modern day Claire Aldridge’s commitment to learning the story behind the abduction matched my own, and the twists and turns the story took were completely unexpected.

Questions:

-Have you ever read a book by Sarah Jio?

-Who are your favorite authors?

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