The Violets of March, by Sarah Jio

The Violets of March: A NovelFinished 4-7-12, rating 4.5/5, fiction, 293 pages, pub. 2011

The moving story told in its pages, of love and loss and acceptance, of secret passions and the weight of private thoughts, forever changed the way I viewed my own writing.  It may have been why I stopped writing.  Joel had never read the book, and I was glad of it.  It was too intimate to share.  It read to me like the pages of my unwritten diary.

Chapter 1

Emily, author of one bestselling novel years ago, has just signed her divorce papers.  Not able to write and not sure what to do about it her best friend convinces her that a change of scenery will help, so Emily contacts her Aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  Once she’s back on the island where she spent the wonderful summers of her youth, she finds a hidden journal written by the mysterious Esther, and Emily wonders if she is somehow connected to her family.  Totally immersed in Esther’s story and frustrated by her aunt’s refusal to talk about family secrets, Emily found the perfect way to forget about her divorce and the muse to start writing again.

The story in the journal parallels current day Bainbridge Island and as Emily pieced together who was who I tried to keep up.  I admit I had some ideas, but did get a bit confused by the large cast.  I didn’t really care though, I was just happy to be along for the ride.  One of these days I hope I find my way to Bainbridge Island.  The place felt magical.

I loved this book.  The writing was beautiful, there was such depth and beauty on every page.  The awesome writing coupled with the two addicting storylines make this one easy to recommend.  I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump (probably because I have so little time for it these days so I tend to choose shorter books) but this one had me reading well into my sleep time and that’s not something I give up lightly!

There are two things that kept this from being perfect for me.  I wish there could have been another chapter to wrap things up a little more and I was surprised by how fast Emily recovered from her divorce.  She did not waste any time jumping back into the dating pool and seemed to think very little of her old life.  This felt a bit odd, but I’ve not gone through a divorce so maybe it is that easy to forget (and I mean forget a week later).  Both of these are minor complaints.

This is my favorite book this year, so far, and it was from my personal library.

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