The Bungalow. Finished 11-3-19, 3.5/5 stars, fiction, pub. 2011
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. from Goodreads
Bora Bora housed our men and women in uniform during WWII and Anne, following her best friend, is stationed there in the Nurse Corps. While some of the other women seem to be searching for men in uniform, Anne is recently engaged and only interested in serving and finding her purpose before she goes home to marry. She meets Westry and the two have a connection and find a way for private time together in a half hidden bungalow on the beach. But this relationship comes at the expense of her friendship with Kitty, who becomes distant.
There is a war going on and although Bora Bora is beautiful, the bloody war finds a way on to the island. Not all of the men we meet will survive and other lives will be born and lost during Anne’s stay and when it is time to go home she can only think of Westry who has signed on for another tour, this time in Europe. What will happen to them and the magic they found in the bungalow?
There is another storyline. One that involves Anne at around 90 sharing this story with her granddaughter. There is a mystery or two to be solved and lives will change. I liked this one, but did think it had a few too many crazy things happen with the current story. But for my issues with the modern tale, I was drawn into the wartime drama.
I always like Jio’s stories and this one is no exception.