Guest Review: The Violet’s of March by Sarah Jio
“A heartbroken woman stumbled upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author.
In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.
Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily’s good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life. “
The Violet’s of March by Sarah Jio is a captivating book from a debut author. Half way through the first chapter I was sucked in and could not sit the book down until later that same night when I had finished it. The book opens as Emily’s marriage is ending. Her husband has left her for another woman and Emily who used to be on top of the world finds herself lost and wondering at what point she lost herself.
Suffering from massive writer’s block and the need to heal and find herself again Emily with the nudging of her best friend decides to go to the only place that holds a sense of longing and wonder for her, her Aunt Bee’s where she spent her summers as a youth. I immediately was drawn into Emily’s character and felt her anguish. Many have found themselves right where Emily is, at a turning point in need of healing and self- discovery and Bainbridge Island is a fabulous place to find yourself again. As Emily embarks on a journey to her Aunt Bee’s where she will find herself and unlock family secrets that have long been hidden we are swept up with her as pieces from her childhood memories start to fall into place.
At the heart of the story is a red diary that Emily discovers in her nightstand. The story in the diary is riveting and I find myself wanting to know more about the people in the diary and their story. Just as Emily is caught up in the love story of Esther and Elliot inside the diary, you will be as well as you fall in love with the characters in the diary. As you read the diary a story of passionate love and betrayal unravel and I found myself wanting to know what happened to the people in the diary, where are they and how does the story end? I was so caught up in the mystery of the diary I couldn’t wait to get back to it’s contents each time and as the story unfolds we start to see how pieces of Emily’s life begin to make sense and begin to see how a story from 1943 intertwines with Emily’s own life today.
The setting itself must be considered as a major part of the book as well. Jio writes in such a way you feel as if you can almost smell the salt in the sea and the sand under your feet. As I read I could feel the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. I longed to sit on the beach with Emily and read the diary with her.
Jio introduces us to many characters on the island and you find yourself falling in love with almost all of them. I was drawn into the mystery of each character as the story unfolds and I found myself wondering what secret they are all keeping and how do they each fit into the puzzle.
The Violets of March is sometimes slightly predictable but if you are looking for a light read with beautiful characters and a mesmerizing landscape then this is your book. As summers at the beach are blended with just a touch of mystery and also a bit of romance you will find yourself falling in love with Bainbridge Island and the people who live there. Jump on the ride as Emily uncovers family secrets and heals her wounds. I loved this book and can’t wait for Jio’s next book to come out so we can see how she grows as an author.