Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Review: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

Paperback, 304 pages
Plume (April 26, 2011)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my participation in the Manic Mommies Book Club

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

My Thoughts:
The Violets of March was a quick and entertaining read.  Anyone who understands my reading preferences, would know that I would enjoy the embedded diary entries within the novel.  Reading books which include letters or diary excerpts are included among my favorite things.  I especially enjoyed the anonymity of the diary's author - I thought that it was interesting that had to wait to discover who was telling the story.

Emily's interaction with her Aunt Bee was very sweet.  Bee provided Emily with a very different relationship than the one that Emily had with her own mother.  Yet, despite their closeness, Bee has a secret that placed a strain on their relationship, and on Emily's ability to move on.

I enjoyed the book very much.  While the ending was not completely predictable, I did have a sense of where the characters would end up.  I wasn't deterred by this and took time to enjoy how the story unfolded.  I would recommend this book to lovers of women's fiction.  I am looking forward to discussing it with the Manic Mommies Book Club tonight!

Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to review this book as part of the Manic Mommies Book Club.

4 Stars!


  1. I so wanted to love this one like so many other people did. But I just couldn't get over some nagging points. Like the fact that they kept referring to the book as a "diary" when it appeared to have been written as a story and Emily kept wondering if the people might have been real. And all of those coincidences between present time and the past grated on me. Glad you liked it so much!

  2. I have this one in my tbr pile and hope to get to it at some point. I have read so many great reviews for it. I too love to read books that incorporate a diary in them. Great review!

  3. I also like to read books with diary/journal entries and letters. Sounds like a must-read for me. :D