Title: The Bungalow
Author: Sarah Jio
320 pages, Published by Plume
Buy The Book: Amazon
A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.
In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, 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. (Summary provided by Plume.)
With her latest novel, The Bungalow, Sarah Jio once again takes readers back to a bygone era. The Bungalow follows Anne Calloway from her comfortable life in the Pacific Northwest all the way to Bora-Bora. Anne is nervous about her upcoming nuptials to handsome and wealthy Gerard. Gerard is everything most girls would be dying for in a husband, but Anne is not sure he’s the one. When her friend Kitty volunteers for the war as a nurse, Anne quickly follows in her footsteps. Anne postpones her wedding, so she can serve in WW II. She and Kitty are stationed in Bora-Bora. Anne’s time there is filled with much drama, mystery, and romance.
I was struck by how Jio was once again able to put together the perfect blend of mystery and romance. I found the idea of the cursed island bungalow that affects anyone who enters it intriguing. I was happy to find that The Bungalow is just as captivating and well-written as The Violets of March. Anne is a fabulous and fearless protagonist. Throughout reading, I found myself rooting for Anne and hoping that she would find happiness on the tiny island in the Pacific.
Once again Sarah Jio has weaved a wonderful tale of long lost love. I loved Anne and all of her friends on the island of Bora-Bora. I really felt transported to another era, and when it was over I didn’t want to leave. The Bungalow is the perfect book to curl up on the couch with on a lazy Saturday afternoon.