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The Violets of March: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Jio
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (473 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.01 (47%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

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.

A mesmerizing debut with an idyllic setting and intriguing dual story line, The Violets of March announces Sarah Jio as a writer to watch.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[F]eed the kids before you settle in with journalist Sarah Jio's engrossing first novel, The Violets of March. This mystery-slash-love-story will have you racing to the end--cries of 'Mom, I'm hungry!' be damned."
--Redbook

"[A] rich blend of history, mystery, and romance... Fans of Sarah Blake's The Postmistress
should enjoy this story."
--Library Journal

"Mystery meets romance in this absorbing debut novel. ... Readers will be enthralled from the start of the dual story lines, all the way through to the satisfying conclusion."
--Woman's Day

"Using the curious nature of wood violets, which have bloomed on the island in an off-season to signal promise and redemption, the story's setting and sentiment are sure to entice readers and keep them captivated page after page."
--RT Books

"[T]his book will become a source of healing and comfort for its readers."
--Costco Connection

"In a sweet debut novel, a divorcee visiting her aunt on gorgeous Bainbridge Island, Washington, finds a diary dating to 1943 that reveals potentially life-changing secrets."
--Coastal Living

"Mix a love story, history, and a mystery and what takes root? The Violets of March, a novel that reminds us how the past comes back to haunt us, and packs a few great surprises for the reader along the way."
-Jodi Picoult, author of Sing You Home & House Rules

"Sarah Jio's The Violets of March is a book for anyone who has ever lost love or lost herself."
-Allison Winn Scotch, author of Time of My Life and The One That I Want

"An enchanting story of love, betrayal, and the discovery of an old diary that mysteriously links the past to the present."
-Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

"Sarah Jio delivers a gem of a book, perfect for reading on the beach or under a cozy quilt."
-Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat

"The Violets of March is a captivating, bittersweet tale of what happens when the long-buried truth finally makes its way to the surface. I didn't want this book to end!"
-Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

"Sarah Jio is one talented writer!"
-Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Seven Year Switch

About the Author

Sarah Jio is a frequent contributor to major magazines, including Real Simple, Glamour, Cooking Light, and Redbook, and is also the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. She lives in Seattle with her family. The Violets of March is her first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 436 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (April 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IYJEYM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,676 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
215 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a charming read! April 26, 2011
Format:Paperback
The Violets of March is the type of book that had me at hello. Truly, I was about twenty pages in when I realized how much I enjoyed Emily and I gobbled up her story as quickly as I possibly could. There are so many things to love about this novel that I don't know where to start!

I truly enjoyed Emily as a character. I really felt for her - she was completely surprised by her husband's actions and she had to do something drastic with her life in order to get some perspective. I liked all the characters in the book, actually - Aunt Bee is a fabulously fun older lady as is her friend Evelyn, and Emily meets two guys her first week at the island, both of whom add fabulous details to the story. I always like a little romance in my fiction, you know! Emily is truly the star of the novel as she tries to put her life back together while spending time on the island, but I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of the characters.

The island itself is a character in a sense. Sarah Jio did such a great job depicting what life on Bainbridge Island is like - I could smell the salty air, could see the ferry as it pulled in to the island, and I could feel the sand between my toes as Emily walked along the beach. When I visited Seattle several years back I absolutely fell in love with it, and Sarah Jio has made me want to visit some of the surrounding islands. She definitely brought Bainbridge Island to life.

I have to admit that I enjoyed reading the story in the red diary almost as much as the book itself! This technique of a "story within a story" is one that I'm not always a fan of, but in this case it worked beautifully. I was just as compelled with Esther's story (the woman in the diary) as I was with Emily's, if not more so!
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98 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Escape May 19, 2011
Format:Paperback
During all the craziness last week, The Violets of March by Sarah Jio was my escape. Instead of laying in the hotel bed worrying about all the mess and stress, I just opened the pages of this book and lost myself in the story.

I must admit that I went to great lengths to get a copy of this book. For some reason when I read an early review and heard that it would be released in May, I just knew I wanted to read it. Perhaps it was because my dear, dear college friend grew up on Bainbridge Island, WA and the island is the setting for this story. Or maybe I was just drawn in by the promise of a buried secret discovered in a long-forgotten diary. I'm a sucker for those kinds of stories.

Emily, the protagonist, is a gorgeous and best-selling author who is suffering from writer's block and her husband just left her for another woman. Hoping to heal, she escapes to her great aunt's home on Bainbridge Island. On this beautiful island, Emily discovers the old diary containing a mystery that inspires her to write. And of course, she just might find love again. Ultimately, it is a story of forgiveness.

There's nothing especially new or earth shattering in The Violets of March. It's a typical healing-from-life story with some romance and ancestral mystery on the side. It could have been a little longer. The story would have benefited from more character development. But also, I didn't want it to end because I liked it. I like it a lot.

Jio writes well. It is easy to get wrapped up in Emily's story and the story in the journal. I could barely put the book down until I finished the last sentence. Jio uses the setting to her advantage in building the plot.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lush, descriptive novel April 26, 2011
Format:Paperback
The Violets of March is the kind of book that you could share with your best friend, mother or grandmother and know that they'd all love it. Set on scenic Bainbridge Island, Violets is a love story within a mystery and has a whole cast of characters who are flawed enough to be human but so compelling that you'll root for them throughout the book. Jio excels at description; although I've never been to Bainbridge Island, I felt like I was right there with her protagonist, Emily. This was a gorgeous story, and I didn't want it to end.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacks imagination March 2, 2012
Format:Paperback
I finished this book only out of loyalty to my book club. The plot is intriguing, and the setting is beautiful. But the characters are completely bland, and their relationships are superficial. This is a love story that's just going through the motions - love, loss, then finally "true" love. The love portrayed is more like a mutual crush - instant and powerful but with none of the honesty and experience that actually creates a loving relationship.

The book intertwines two love stories set on Bainbridge Island - one present day and one from the 1940s. I wish the book had dropped the main story and focused on the love story from the 40s. The characters from that story were more diverse and brave. And the intensity of their relationships was a little more believable, but perhaps this was only because their story was the mystery pulling the reader along. If that story had been developed more, maybe it would have turned into the same bland cliché as the main character's journey.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
A novel that you don't want to put down until your done. Held your attention from the first page to the last. Sarah Jio is an excellent story teller.
Published 1 hour ago by Carole A. Shields
5.0 out of 5 stars Story with a Twist
I have read 2 of Sarah Jio's books. She has a unique way of telling a story that pulls you into the scene. Her characters are genuine and believable. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Linda M. Nash
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book more than I expected to.
I normally read historical fiction that is primarily in England and usually surrounding WWI or WWII. So I was somewhat leary to read this book since it was completely in America. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Gina
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Put Down
The story itself was delightful. I found myself wanting to know how the story within the story ended, almost from the beginning. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Bf
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, quick read
Not sure why every one raved about this book. It was OK, but definitely not the best writing I have experienced recently. Quick, one day, but very unexceptional.
Published 6 days ago by Meredith Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets and solace
Set on Bainbridge, off the coast of Seattle, it gives you a true feel for its culture. ~ A family saga, with a mysterious edge. Read more
Published 18 days ago by MLewisK
5.0 out of 5 stars Love This Author
I had previously read "Blackberry Winter" by Sarah Jio and wanted to read more books by this marvelous author. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Gayle Doukas
2.0 out of 5 stars It was OK
I found this a mediocre book… Finished it only because I had nothing else to read.. I read a lot, so perhaps I am overly critical.. but for me it just was not that great.
Published 28 days ago by g
2.0 out of 5 stars Violets of March
This was very ordinary, nothing special, nothing to reccomend it. i really didn't like this book much, and I didn't care about the characters at all.
Published 28 days ago by Kate Runyan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This story kept me wanting to know more and more that I couldn't put it down. I ended up staying up till 3am finishing this book. We'll worth the lost sleep!
Published 1 month ago by J. Sandel
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More About the Author

Sarah Jio is the international, USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (a Library Journal Best Book of 2011 and a USA Today bestseller), THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER (an instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller, as well as an international bestseller), THE LAST CAMELLIA (a Kirkus Books Most Anticipated Book of 2012), MORNING GLORY, and GOODNIGHT JUNE (to be published in June 2014)--all from Penguin (Plume). To date, Sarah's novels are published in 22 countries, including Italy, France, Brazil, Turkey, Slovenia, Russia, China, Norway, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, and many others.

A magazine writer and the former founding health and fitness blogger for Glamour magazine, Sarah has written thousands of articles and blog posts for national magazines including Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, Hallmark magazine, Seventeen, Health, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, The Seattle Times, Parents, Woman's Day, American Baby, Parenting, and many others. She has also appeared as a commentator on NPR's Morning Edition, and is a regular contributor to BRIDES magazine.

Sarah recently finished her seventh novel and is at work on her next. She lives in Seattle and is the mother of three young sons.

The slightly more informal bio:

1978-1983: The blissful childhood years. Pigtails. French braids. Bunny rabbits. Warm, chocolate chip cookies. Blackberry picking. Saltwater sandals. Magical Christmases. Trips to Disneyland. Dress up. Swingsets. Bossing around younger siblings. Slip 'n Slides and kiddie pools. Shenanigans.

1983-1988: The jelly bracelet and Keds years. Wrote first book, titled "A Tug Boat's Dream." Leggings with long sweaters and belts. Hypercolor T-shirts. Pink boom boxes. Monarch butterflies. Norwegian dancing. Sleepovers. Cabbage Patch dolls. Lisa Frank stickers. Rollerskating at the rink. Little House on the Prairie. Experimental hairstyles, including feathered bangs and the poodle perm. Best friend moves away. Wishing on stars. First crushes. All details recorded in diary, read by little brother.

1988-1993: The hair-flipping years. Boys. Gap sale rack. Junior high angst. Rollerblading. Tennis. More bad hair. Survive California earthquake. Find a message in a bottle. Ate a lot of fettuccine alfredo. Move into new house. Babysitters Club. Italian sodas at the mall.

1993-1996: The band groupie years. Mohawked boyfriend. Broken heart. Cut hair to a short pixie and dye platinum blond. Church camps. Boys. Private school. Grounded. Tennis. Mexico. Debate team. Green 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. Grounded. Nancy Drew. Safeway. Banana Boat suntan lotion. Starbucks. Daydreaming.

1996-2000: The college years. Journalism. Character-building. Deadlines. Expeditions to Canada. Three part-time jobs. Date football player, Calvin Klein underwear model. Summers in Alaska. First apartment in Seattle. IKEA. Stan Getz. Soul searching.

2000-2005: The busy years. Get married (finish a magazine deadline the night before wedding). Honeymoon in Tahiti. Buy house. Remodel house. Become fanatical about gardening. Become doggie mama to Paisley the golden retriever who digs up prized garden. Go to a cooking class in Provence and spend two nights solo in Paris. Write a zillion magazine articles. Open a bottle of champagne when I see my name in O, The Oprah Magazine. Write first book. Do not sell first book (blessing in disguise). Beloved grandfather dies. Baby fever. Nesting.

2005-2013: The babies and books years. Buy another house. Remodel kitchen. Wash dishes in bathtub. Became a regular contributor to Glamour. First baby born. Colic. No sleep. Crying. Organic baby food. Balance. Magazines deadlines. Second baby arrives. Write new novel. Beloved grandma dies. Sign with literary agent. Sell novel at auction in U.S., and later in 14 countries. Sell second novel. Third baby arrives. Level of chaos in home explodes. Sign with film agent. Interview Gwyneth Paltrow (on the phone, while nursing a baby), Maya Angelou, and others. Sell third and fourth novels. Go on book tour. With a baby. Three boys under the age of six. Drink a lot of coffee, and sometimes wine. Buy new house. Dream of huge refrigerator and office with doors that lock. Write fifth novel, sixth and seventh. Take boys to Disneyland. Long runs. Big dreams. Health. New chapters. Grateful.

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