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The Violets of March: A Novel Paperback – April 26, 2011
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"[A] rich blend of history, mystery, and romance... Fans of Sarah Blake's The Postmistress
should enjoy this story."
"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."
"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."
"[T]his book will become a source of healing and comfort for its readers."
"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."
"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
More About the Author
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, BRIDES, 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.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
My problem is that I never felt invested in the characters or believed in them. The characters, especially the narrator Emily, are 2D and not very believable. Their actions are very cliched (recovering from a supposedly painful and gut wrenching divorce and finding love again within 2 - 3 weeks). The relationships in the book all seem to be formed instantly and do not feel genuine. I don't expect the characters in books to be exactly like people I know or to have experiences that I am familiar with, but I expect them to be believable. The characters and story in this book were not.
Despite not reall being connected to the characters in the book, I was entertained enough to finish it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ridiculous fluff with the added unbelievability of too many characters not using their real name! The reunion of former sweethearts was also a bit laughable in its portrayal. Read morePublished 28 days ago by norcalgal
The Violets of March is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by Sarah Jio. This novel offers three interweaving storylines: one from present day, a historical... Read more
I'm not proud to say it, because the book is far from fine literature, but I got caught up in the story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by CatLady88
Enjoyable beach read. I appreciated the interlaced stories and the way they melded together, and I liked the protagonist, but it wasn't a literary masterpiece. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I couldn't finish it. I just couldn't. I stopped at the third chapter. It was way too predictable and was like romance writing by numbers. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tanith Moore
The Violets of March is set on Bainbridge Island near Seattle in Washington State in 2005. Eight years earlier Emily Wilson was in her twenties, had a best-selling novel that was... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Martina A. Nicolls
I really wanted this book to be better than it was. It had such potential, but it fell flat for me. The build up of characters relationships felt really sped up and phony. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Misty Kuprevich
At times hard to keep the different characters straight. Present day interspersed with a 40 year old diary. Worth a read.Published 5 months ago by Susan Post