Friday, April 20, 2012
Review: The Bungalow
Author: Sarah Jio
Length: 290 pages
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Synopsis (from Goodreads): A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.
In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.
A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years.
My Review: I was very hesitant to pick this book up. Sarah Jio's first book had come very highly recommended and I hate to say it but I really didn't like it. The secondary story held me enthralled for most of it but it ended up falling flat for me. I won't go into why, as this is not a review of The Violets of March. Now a new Sarah Jio book was being talked up, The Bungalow. Well if you knew me you would know that I would not be able to automatically pass by a book with a cover as beautiful as The Bungalow's. That cover is where I want to be! This book was literally "love at first sight". I think that it could have been about anything and I would not have been able to resist! Luckily the storyline also sounded very interesting.
I started reading this book while I was also reading two other books. I switched back and forth for about the first half of the book. I found myself always waiting anxiously until it was time to return to The Bungalow. Anne, Westry, and the beauty of Bora Bora, which you couldn't help but feel transported to, had captured me. I wanted to be in the bungalow and part of the mystery and romance. Once I got to the halfway point I just couldn't put it down anymore! I finished it in one sitting! The beauty, romance, loss, tension, and yearning that was The Bungalow stayed with me long after I closed the book and put it down.
This book is what Sarah Jio started to show me she could do in The Violets of March. I highly recommend The Bungalow! If you've read it I'd love to hear your opinions!