Book Review: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

Title: The Violets of March

Author: Sarah Jio

Sarah’s Information: Blog | Twitter | GoodReads | FB

304 pages, Publisher: Plume

Buy The Book: Amazon

Summary:  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. (Summary provided by Plume.)

My Thoughts:

What starts with a trip to her great aunt’s island home to mend a broken heart and the discovery of a red velvet diary (or is it a manuscript?) leads to the mystery of a lifetime for Emily Wilson, the protagonist in Sarah Jio’s wonderfully crafted debut novel, The Violets of March. I started reading this book on a Saturday afternoon, and I finished it by Sunday afternoon. To say it was a page turner is not only a cliché but an understatement as well. I simply could not put the book down until I knew the outcome of the mystery surrounding the red velvet journal.

Jio’s writing beautifully described Bainbridge Island in such a way that I have now added it to my bucket list of must-see destinations. The island was very much a character in itself and at one point almost every featured inhabitant of the island seems to be  involved in the mystery that Emily is trying to solve. I enjoyed trying to guess which characters were being represented in the 1943 journal/manuscript. The conclusion of the mystery was absolutely not what I expected. I was shocked, because I totally thought I had it figured out about halfway through!

The Violets of March is a bright spot in the huge stack of books I’ve read so far this Spring. When I finished reading the book I immediately wished for a follow-up or companion novel so I could read more about Emily’s Bainbridge Island family. I highly recommend adding it to your Spring/Summer reading pile.


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  1. says

    I have this book on my Kindle and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ve got a lot of books on my TBR list and just rec’d more for review this week……….I love a full bookshelf:).

  2. says

    Thank you so much for this lovely review, Mandy! I’m so happy that you enjoyed VIOLETS! 🙂 xoxo (P.S. You can read a little more about one of the characters in the book in my second novel, THE BUNGALOW–coming out in April 2012! I’ll send you a copy.)

  3. Mary says

    Bainbridge Island really is beautiful. My grandparents lived there for nearly 20 years after living around the Midwest for most of their lives. Just knowing it’s the background of this book makes me want to seek it out!

  4. Maribeth Long says

    I bought The Violets of March for the Kindle. Now I find I’m going to have to purchase the real book so my sister and all my friends who read can share. I am an instant fan of Sara Jio.

  5. simone standefleur says

    THIS is what I am giving my book-loving aunts and cousins for EARTH DAY since I cannot send bouquets of fresh violets. I am soo excited. Thank you and please keep giving us BLOOMS. Simone

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