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The Bungalow: A Novel Paperback – December 27, 2011
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"A heartfelt, engaging love story set against the fascinating backdrop of the war in the Pacific."
--Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of Home Front and Night Road
"Sarah Jio whips romance, history, and a page-turning mystery into one mesmerizing South Sea dream."
--Carol Cassella, national bestselling author of Oxygen and Healer
"The Bungalow is my favorite book of the year!"
--Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of If You Were Here
"Seasoned with mystery and awash in the glory of the South Pacific, this stirring wartime romance explores the uncompromising power of long-lost love. Readers pack your bags and set sail for enchantment in Sarah Jio's The Bungalow!"
--Sarah McCoy, author of The Baker's Daughter
"[The Bungalow is] extraordinarily real ... a true page-turner."
"In this rare piece of historical chick lit, a sweeping love story unfolds between a young nurse and a mysterious soldier."
"This book had the perfect mix of adventure, mystery, romance and sorrow."
--First for Women
Pulpwood Queens Book Club, Official Selection 2012
“A heartfelt, engaging love story set against the fascinating backdrop of the War in the Pacific.”—Kristin Hannah, author of Home Front
“Unabashedly romantic . . . thanks to Jio’s deft handling of her plot and characters. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this gentle historical love story.”—Library Journal
"Power plays, backstabbing, an old art mystery, and a very intriguing young soldier mesh together in an ultimately captivating tale. The sensuous bungalow of the title occupies a dreamy, escapist place in the plot. [For] fans of Samantha Sotto, Camille Noe Pagan, and Bridget Asher."—Booklist
Praise for Sarah Jio and her novels:
“Jio has become one of the most-read women in America.”—Woman’s World (on Morning Glory)
“Delightful and uplifting.”—Historical Novel Society (on Goodnight June)
“Linger[s] long after the last page.”—Romantic Times (on The Last Camellia)
“Eminently readable . . . a tribute to family and forgiveness.”—Booklist (on Goodnight June)
“Terrific … compelling … an intoxicating blend of mystery, history and romance.”—Real Simple (on Blackberry Winter)
About the Author
Sarah Jio is the #1 international, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling author of eight novels. She is also a longtime journalist who has contributed to Glamour, The New York Times, Redbook, Real Simple, O: The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Woman’s Day, Marie Claire, Self, and many other outlets, including NPR’s Morning Edition, appearing as a commentator. Jio lives in Seattle with her three young boys.
Top customer reviews
Back to the story. It was woven together very well and made me cry in places, as Jio has the power to touch readers' hearts with language. However, I would have liked more detail and deeper resolution at the end, especially with Kitty. Actually, more detail could have been useful throughout the book, such as when Anne and Westry fall in love. It seemed to happen so fast. And what about poor Mary? What really happened in France? I guess readers need to draw our own conclusions. Finally, I really would have liked to know more about Westry's life and family since the war. On the other hand, I understand that there were many characters in The Bungalow and it would have been impossible to fully develop all of them, like Anne's mother, but we need more information about the main characters.
I also read Blackberry Winter by this author and thought it was simply magical. I guess I would give The Bungalow 3.5 or 4 stars. With real editing, it could have been a 5 star read. I do enjoy Jio's sensitive writing very much, though, and will read more of her historical fiction. Her debut novel, The Violets of March, is next on my list.
The island of Bora, Bora during WWII, a well hidden bungalow that the islanders believe is cursed - considering the painter whom dwelt there, it's possible - a soldier who is neither an officer nor a gentleman, a murder, a baby, and an ill fated love affair. What more does this reader want? Not a thing! I loved, loved this novel! It will rest in my heart until I decide to read it once again.
Sarah Jio's writing had me at various times: chuckling, out right crying, and holding my breath. I hated that it ended; I could have stayed with Anne and Westry for a while longer. At times Jio's prose sung and my emotions ebbed and flowed with the story.
The characters are wonderful, even the loathsome Kitty. My heart wept for Atea, "Cleo", and "Grayson". I loved the ending - it was what should have happened - "Cleo, you're a little late." Just as I was to read this delightful novel that had sat on my shelf waiting for me.
The plot twist, when it came, wasn't a surprise, exactly, but it seemed unlikely to me. And the end of Anne's time in Bora-Bora was unsatisfying. The story's conclusion solves the mystery of what happened and ties up some (though not all, in my opinion) of the loose ends, but it does so far too quickly and with too little fanfare. It felt rushed, after such slow and loving care had been taken with the rest of the tale.
Overall, it was a lovely read and an engaging story, just one with an ending that left me wanting more. If you're looking for a summer read it's still worth the time.