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The Bungalow: A Novel Paperback – December 27, 2011
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
--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
Shortly after arriving, Anne meets a handsome soldier named Westry. Anne and Westry find an abandoned bungalow on the beach and they begin the processes of repairing it. While repairing the bungalow, they would leave each other little notes in and over time their friendship turns to romance. Then one evening everything changes when a shocking crime occurs. Anne's tour is over and Westry is being redeployed. Yet the mystery of what happened that night is still lingering. Will they find each other again, was their love the sort of love that stands the test of time and war? You need to read it yourself to find out, but I promise you will be glad you did.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but when I read I see the story in my head. Some books are more real than others. Sometimes they are even a little hazy and I get moments of focus. For me, The Bungalow was an old black and white movie straight out of my grandparent's generation. I was swept away by Jio's vivid descriptions and I loved every minute of it. I honestly could visualize the entire book! Once again, I couldn't put Sarah's book down! Thank goodness I mostly read after the kids went to bed because I was so engrossed in the story I lost track of time. I finished The Bungalow in a day.
When the story was over, I was left with a few questions. At first this really bothered me, but truthfully it makes the whole story more realistic. When in real life is everything tied up nice and pretty? Almost never. When the story ended, I was sad. I wanted more--I didn't want to leave these characters. I will now have to sit on my hands and wait for Jio's next novel to be published.
An absolute definite recommend! I recall after I read Sarah's first book, The Violets of March, saying it was my favorite book. I think after reading The Bungalow I can say Sarah Jio is my favorite contemporary writer.
Anne Calloway is ninety when her granddaughter Jennifer brings her a letter - one that asks questions about a murder in 1943 and so Anne begins to finally tell her story...
Anne has already gone against her well to do family's expectations for her. She and her friend Kitty both added nursing qualifications to their college degrees. "What we'd do with these credentials was of great concern to our parents. Heaven forbid we actually use them."
Anne's future is already planned for her - marriage to Gerard Godfrey, the local banker's son. "Mother and Mrs. Godfrey had planned the union since I was in infancy, of course. Calloways would marry Godfreys. It was as natural as coffee and cream."
But, it is 1942 and the War is on. When Kitty announces that she has enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and is shipping out for the South Pacific, Anne does the unimaginable - she follows her heart and signs up as well.
Kitty and Anne land in Bora Bora. Kitty sees it all as a grand adventure, while Anne is more reserved. But Anne is inextricably drawn to Westry, one of the soldiers on base. Together they discover an abandoned beach hut and it is here that they fall in love - and plan for a life together when the war ends. But the locals say the hut is cursed. And it may well be - a horrific event puts an end to their sanctuary - and their plans for the future.
Jio has again woven the past and present together to create an absolutely addicting story. But it is the past that captured me the most. I loved the character of Anne, her decisions to follow her heart, her kindness and her innocence. Jio has captured the naivete of a young woman discovering herself in a turbulent time period. I initially enjoyed the character of Kitty as well, drawn to her sense of adventure. However, by the end of the book I quite disliked her. The setting itself is a character in the book as well. I was able to picture clear blue water, white sands, palm tree, island breezes and of course, the little bungalow.
Jio's writing flows easily and effortlessly. I was caught up in the story from first page to last. It's hard to pigeonhole The Bungalow into one genre slot. It's historical, but there's a (not too hard to solve) mystery as well, but the romantic thread is the most compelling. Yes, there are coincidences that tie things up quite neatly in the end, but you know what? - It works. For a feel good read to warm you up on a cold winter night, pick up The Bungalow.