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The Last Camellia: A Novel (Read Pink) by [Jio, Sarah]
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The Last Camellia: A Novel (Read Pink) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s April 1940, and young Flora Lewis has traveled to England under false pretenses. Her parents believe she has an internship at the famed London Conservatory. In reality, she will be working for flower thief Philip Price, who is looking to steal a rare camellia, the last remaining specimen of which is located at the remote Livingston Manor estate. Flora will act as nanny to Lord Livingston’s four children and locate the camellia. In return, Price will give her enough money to pay off her parents’ debts. Meanwhile, in modern-day New York, Addison and Rex Sinclair have decided to spend the summer in England, where Rex’s parents own the now-crumbling Livingston Manor. Addison is desperate to escape a blackmailer who is threatening to divulge a long-held secret. Jio’s (Blackberry Winter, 2012) well-paced novel brings these two worlds neatly together in an engaging story of two generations trying to move forward despite the powerful pull of the past. A thoughtful examination of history’s ability to haunt the present and the power of forgiveness to set things right. --Carol Gladstein

Review

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)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1950 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (May 28, 2013)
  • Publication Date: May 28, 2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AEDDQ2M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,586 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In 1940, Flora Lewis makes her way from the United States to a country manor just outside of England. Everyone believes she is there to be the new nanny, but she is really working with an international ring of flower thieves. On the estate, it is believed the last know Middlebury Pink camellia plant grows and it's Flora's job to find it. She is hoping to find it quickly and get back to her parents, but what Flora finds is a mystery greater than she ever expected.

Addison Sinclair and her husband Rex make there way to the country manor her in-laws have just purchased. Addison is running away from her mysterious past, hoping to figure out a plan. As Addison looks around the manor, she finds an old gardener's notebook with some mystery numbers, the couple tries to uncover this secret code. They soon realize they have stumbled upon a code connected to a half century old crime spree. Addison's past soon catches up with her, just as they begin to put all the pieces together.

I have loved all of Sarah Jio's books, but THE LAST CAMELLIA was amazing. I had such a hard time putting it down (yes, I always have this problem with her books), but I swear almost every chapter ended with a mini cliffhanger! I was sitting on the edge of my seat, never sure what was going to happen next. I was shocked by Addison's past!

THE LAST CAMELLIA switches between Flora and Addison's perspective. I really enjoyed how I had no clue how either story would end. I didn't know how everything would tie together. I was on pins and needles. I'm going to be honest and say I couldn't imagine a story surrounding a camellia plant could end up being so mysterious, but it was!
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Format: Paperback
"She always said it would bloom when it sensed peace, and a rightness with the world."

1940
Flora is approached about a job opportunity that would help save her family from ruin, unfortunately it requires her to set her morals aside in order to help a ring of flower thieves obtain a long lost camellia. It also requires her to travel to England in 1940 when World War II is underway.

2000
Addison and her husband travel to England to stay at the manor his parents have just purchased. Upon their arrival they find themselves immersed in a dark mystery from the 1940's that involves the mysterious death of the lady of the manor and several girls who went missing. One in particular is a girl named Flora, a nanny who stayed at the manor, who disappeared one night and was never seen from again.

This is now the fourth Sarah Jio book I've read in which she's stuck with her tried and true method of weaving stories of the past and stories of the present together to create something truly engaging. The dual narratives switched back and forth frequently between Flora and Addison but there was never any confusion between the two. I found myself far more interested in the past story than the present, but technically they were one in the same considering how they came together in the end.

I found that the major story was told (for both Flora and Addison) but the smaller stories and details weren't fleshed out completely. One example is I really wish there had been more of a proper build-up in the relationship between Flora and Desmond. It seemed far too sudden when the confessions of love started happening, but those two managed to be charming nonetheless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sarah Jio always manages to leave me with tears in my eyes as I finish one of her books. I love the way she tells a double story, one set in the past and one set in the present time, usually with a mystery to be solved in both times. Then she manages to tug at the heart with the empathy I feel for the characters, all the while making me rush to turn the pages. But as I near the end of her books, even though I can't turn the pages fast enough, I hate to see the story end. Sarah is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.
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Format: Paperback
Sarah Jio is one of those authors that all my fellow readers seem to LOVE. But it's taken me until now, when the release of THE LAST CAMELLIA -her fourth book - is looming, to dive in. At least now I can understand the fanaticism :)

1940: Flora Lewis is desperate to help her family. As her parents struggle to keep their bakery above water, Flora is approached with a unique - if dishonest - opportunity: rumors of a rare camellia have sparked the interest of a ring of flower thieves. Flora is sent to Clivebrook, England, to pose as a nanny for the Livingston family. Her real job is to track down the Middlebury Pink and in exchange will be handsomely rewarded. The promise of much-needed funds to help her family is her deciding factor, but she never planned on becoming attached to the Livingston children. Nor had she counted on becoming involved in a mystery surrounding the estate.

2000: Addison Sinclair is trying to escape her past. When her husband's parents offer the couple use of their new country estate in England, Addison decides it's exactly what they need. As her husband, Rex, works diligently on his budding novel, Addison makes a surprising discovery: an orchard of camellias and a journal with a strange code and notes regarding the orchard. Addison and Rex soon discover that Clivebrook was home to a number of disappearances just before WWII. And the names of the missing girls match the ones Addison has found in the journal. But unravelling the journal isn't as easy as it seems, especially when the one person who can help the most isn't talking.

Jio is apparently known for her dual timeline story telling and it's a device I quite enjoy.
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