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The Violets of March: A Novel by [Jio, Sarah]
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4.1 out of 5 stars 574 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[F]eed the kids before you settle in with journalist Sarah Jio's engrossing first novel, The Violets of March. This mystery-slash-love-story will have you racing to the end--cries of 'Mom, I'm hungry!' be damned."
--Redbook

"[A] rich blend of history, mystery, and romance... Fans of Sarah Blake's The Postmistress
should enjoy this story."
--Library Journal

"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."
--Woman's Day

"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."
--RT Books

"[T]his book will become a source of healing and comfort for its readers."
--Costco Connection

"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."
--Coastal Living

"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

Sarah Jio is a frequent contributor to major magazines, including Real Simple, Glamour, Cooking Light, and Redbook, and is also the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. She lives in Seattle with her family. The Violets of March is her first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 822 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1st edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 26, 2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IYJEYM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,262 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Heather ORoark on April 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Violets of March is the type of book that had me at hello. Truly, I was about twenty pages in when I realized how much I enjoyed Emily and I gobbled up her story as quickly as I possibly could. There are so many things to love about this novel that I don't know where to start!

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!
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Format: Paperback
During all the craziness last week, The Violets of March by Sarah Jio was my escape. Instead of laying in the hotel bed worrying about all the mess and stress, I just opened the pages of this book and lost myself in the story.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The Violets of March is the kind of book that you could share with your best friend, mother or grandmother and know that they'd all love it. Set on scenic Bainbridge Island, Violets is a love story within a mystery and has a whole cast of characters who are flawed enough to be human but so compelling that you'll root for them throughout the book. Jio excels at description; although I've never been to Bainbridge Island, I felt like I was right there with her protagonist, Emily. This was a gorgeous story, and I didn't want it to end.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I want to start off by saying that I liked this book, but even though I finished it, I wasn't in love with it. I wasn't sad to see it end by any means. I would recommend it to friends, but I'd probably suggest getting it from the library, buying a used copy, or borrowing it from a friend. It is not something that I would have been happy spending full price.

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.
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