Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Bungalow

Author: Sarah Jio
ISNB: 978-0-452-29767-8
Publisher: Plume
Rating: Highly Recommended


A sweeping 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 fiance, 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, and of love–that have haunted her for seventy years.

An Excerpt:

Tuck a slip of paper into a flimsy envelope, seal it with a swipe of the tongue, then send it on its way.  That letter might be handled by dozens of people and journey a thousand miles before reaching the intended mailbox, where it nestles anonymously between pages twenty-nine and thirty of some unwanted catalog, lying in wait for its unsuspecting recipient, who tosses the catalog, with its treasure tucked inside, into the recycle bin with a flick of the wrist.  There, next to the poorly rinsed milk cartons, an empty wine bottle, and yesterday's newspaper, a life-changing piece of mail quietly awaits.

That letter was for me...

My Thoughts:
In Sarah’s second novel this year, lies a story of love, passion, war and mystery.  Set on the idyllic island of Bora-Bora, during WWII, Sara pens a deeply intriguing story of Anne Calloway and the summer she spent serving in the Army Nurse Corps.  It was a summer that changed her life forever…

I’m still impressed that Sarah released her debut novel in April of 2011 and published her second novel in December of the same year.  If you follow my blog you know how impressed I was with Sarah’s first book, The Violets of March.  You’d never guess these two wonderful books were released in the same year by reading them.  I’m happy to say The Bungalow lived up to my high expectations, set by The Violets of March.

What most impresses and amazes me about The Bungalow is how different it is from The Violets of March.  Both stories hold mystery and romance, yet they have completely different tones.  They are so alike in that they are irresistible, well written, intriguing and page turners yet they are so different at the same time.  Both stories have their own unique setting as well as characters, that carries you to different periods of time and leave you wondering what Ms. Jio has in store next.  Sarah solidifies herself as a talented and versatile author with this story.

The Bungalow is an amazing story of love during WWII, an island oasis, a long lost painting and a mystery unsolved.  The story is told through Anne as she re-counts the period of her life to her granddaughter.  The reader is taken from the present to the past and back again.  The story will keep you rooted in your seat as you experience Anne’s journey.

Sarah has managed to create another wonderful and intriguing story while remaining completely original with the fresh voice of a debut author.  The Bungalow will appeal to a wise audience of readers due to its many facets.  I highly suggest The Bungalow as your next read.

Highly Suggested Read

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