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The Bungalow: A Novel Paperback – December 27, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 299 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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."
--WomansDay.com

"In this rare piece of historical chick lit, a sweeping love story unfolds between a young nurse and a mysterious soldier."
--Marie Claire
 
"This book had the perfect mix of adventure, mystery, romance and sorrow."
--First for Women

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) — Karen White, author of The Beach Trees

About the Author

Sarah Jio is the author of The Violets of March and Blackberry Winter.  She is also the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com, and her articles have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple, among other publications. She lives in Seattle with her three young boys and a geriatric golden retriever.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1 edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452297672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452297678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The year is 1942 and the country is at war. Twenty-one year old, Anne Calloway is about to marry a man she has known all her life. As Anne prepares to walk down the aisle, she begins to question the life set before her. Her best friend Kitty announces she has enlisted to serve as a nurse and is headed to the Pacific island of Bora-Bora to serve. Anne believes this is her chance to make sure she is about to choice the right life for herself. So Anne heads to Bora-Bora with Kitty.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Sarah Jio has done it again! I devoured The Bungalow just as fast as I did The Violets of March. As in Violets, The Bungalow offers readers several mysteries rolled into one compelling and often heart-breaking romance--this time between Anne, a woman engaged to a man she feels ambivalent about, and Westry, the solider who steals her heart when the pair discover an abandoned Bora Bora bungalow that was once home to a famous painter (I won't say who, but art enthusiasts will love the little slice of art history hidden within the plot). Jio has an amazing ear for dialogue and I truly felt like I was catching a glimpse of wartime life in the 1940s. Can't recommend this one highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
I read Sarah Jio's debut novel The Violets of March last year - and loved it. (my review) I had no doubt that I would enjoy her latest book, The Bungalow, as much. But I was wrong - I actually enjoyed it more!

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.
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Format: Paperback
Five Big Stars! This is a poignant love story set during World War II.

Summer of 1942 finds Anne Calloway living a quiet, sheltered life in an upper class neighborhood of Seattle. She recently graduated from nursing school and is newly engaged to the wealthy and handsome Gerard, someone she has known her entire life. Parental expectations gently prodded her into the engagement. The comfortable childhood friendship between Anne and Gerard has evolved into a warm, loving relationship but Anne finds little niggles of doubt in her mind. Is there something more to love? She chastises herself for questioning, yet she longs for passion and spark. The day of her ritzy engagement party, her best friend Kitty shows hours late in tears. She signed up for the nursing corps and will soon be headed to Bora Bora. Anne hastily agrees to go with her. On the tiny island Anne meets Westry. Soon, she is sneaking away to see him in an abandoned bungalow. Their relationship blossoms into a passionate romance. Caught in a time of war, they know they can't afford to waste a moment, for tomorrow they could be torn apart. In the small, sequestered bungalow, the two carve out a little piece of paradise. A place where they can hide from the turmoil of war. Inevitably, Anne loses her heart to Westry. As the tides of war sweep to the island, the men are called away to fight and Anne is set to return home. At their parting, a misconception sparks between them and then they are separated by an ocean of time and misunderstanding. Anne clings to the one memento of her life on the island, a gold locket worn around her neck. Seventy years later a letter arrives for Anne in Seattle. An inquiry into a murder that occurred while Anne was on the island.
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