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The Bungalow

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,170 Ratings  ·  1,149 Reviews
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
Paperback, 290 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Plume (first published December 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah Jio
Aug 02, 2011 Sarah Jio rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote it, so I'm allowed to love it, right?! Thank you everyone for reading. Excited to hear what you think of the story! xo
Mary Beth
Apr 10, 2015 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
I am so glad that this book was recommended to me. Sarah Jios is an amazing author. Her style of writing is very descriptive with vivid pictures. I could tell from the first two paragraphs that I was going to love this book, dreaming of sandy beaches and coconut palms. "I could hear the waves- their violent crash, followed by the fizz of a million bubbles kissing the sand."

The Bungalow is a story as luscious as its exotic and dreamy setting. This story made me feel about every emotion known. It
Taryn at My Secret Romance
This review is posted at My Secret Romance.

A spellbinding story of a love so strong you'll be wishing it was you.

I'm finding it hard to express my love for The Bungalow. This has to be one of the best romantic novels I have ever read! Truly, a fine work of art. Sarah Jio did a sensational job creating and describing the story, as well as the characters. I really felt like I was part of it all, there, seeing it unfold before me. To say I fell head over heals in love with the characters and story

The Bungalow is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by author Sarah Jio. In an interview I found HERE with Ms. Jio, she briefly described the premise of the book as: "At the end of her life, a woman confronts the tragedy and love -- and the Bora Bora beach bungalow -- that have haunted her for a lifetime." In The Bungalow, Ms. Jio incorporates a number of elements: history, culture, art, friendship, romance, war, mystery, and crime. She also offers a beautiful past/present timeframe whic
♡Karlyn P♡
This was an enjoyable story, but it did require a lot of suspending your disbelief. I enjoyed the 1943 WWII setting in Tahiti, and was mildly intrigued by the suspense built around a murder and other odd events. But this kind of romance is not for me, and despite the possibility of a long awaited HEA I am not sure I’d even classify this book as a romance. It’s much more of a women’s fiction with a love story.

Anne Calloway is 90 years old when we first meet her. She has spent her life dreaming of
The Bungalow was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Penguin Group (USA).

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

A sorrowful tale of war and the effect it has on each and every life involved.

The Storyline
It is 1942 and WWII is being fought. Anne Calloway is engaged to marry Gerard Godfrey and there are just a few weeks till their wedding; their marriage being planned from birth.

”Calloways would marry Godfreys. It was as natural as coffee and cream.”

Their relationship is one lacking i
Dec 27, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Five Big Stars! This is a poignant love story set during World War II.

Summer of 1942 finds Anne Calloway living a quiet, sheltered life in an upper class neighborhood of Seattle. She recently graduated from nursing school and is newly engaged to the wealthy and handsome Gerard, someone she has known her entire life. Parental expectations gently prodded her into the engagement. The comfortable childhood friendship between Anne and Gerard has evolved into a warm, loving relationship but Anne finds
Nov 19, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2012 Danielle rated it did not like it
Ugh, a romance novel. I some how wound up with this book after seeing it on a list of books that inspire wanderlust. Perhaps I should have looked a little closer. Sure, it did take place on Bora Bora, but it might as well as have happened anywhere.

The romance itself felt superficial and the rest of the story was a mess. There would be this wind up --a mystery, a cover-up, I can't talk now, just trust me....which is fine in the heat of the moment but, wouldn't you ask a question, I don't know, so
Jun 20, 2015 Myrna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
One of Jio's better books. The story takes place in Bora, Bora. How I wish I could visit. It is truly a captivating story. The Bungalow is about friendship, treachery, mishap, first love, and second chances. This is a great read especially if you like historical fiction.
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
The island of Bora, Bora during WWII, a well hidden bungalow that the islanders believe is cursed - considering the painter whom dwelt there, it's possible - a soldier who is neither an officer nor a gentleman, a murder, a baby, and an ill fated love affair. What more does this reader want? Not a thing! I loved, loved this novel! It will rest in my heart until I decide to read it once again.

Sarah Jio's writing had me at various times: chuckling, out right crying, and holding my breath. I hated t
Jan 11, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
I've had this book's release date marked on my calendar for months. I loved Sarah's first novel, but I can only explain my feelings about reading this one as similar to a second date - excited, nervous, and wondering how it could possibly be better than the first.

The second date was incredible.

From the start, I was enchanted: "He was there, of course - in uniform, shyly smiling at me as the waves fell into the shore. I could hear them - their violent crash, followed by the fizz of a million bubb
Aug 31, 2012 Agatha rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luanne Ollivier
Dec 19, 2011 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it
I read Sarah Jio's debut novel The Violets of March last year - and loved it. (my review) I had no doubt that I would enjoy her latest book, The Bungalow, as much. But I was wrong - I actually enjoyed it more!

Anne Calloway is ninety when her granddaughter Jennifer brings her a letter - one that asks questions about a murder in 1943 and so Anne begins to finally tell her story...

Anne has already gone against her well to do family's expectations for her. She and her friend Kitty both added nursing
Mar 08, 2012 Cassie rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I got it for a beach vacation and I thought how great it would be to read a "tropical historical fiction book" on the airplane to get me all excited for the beach. Despite getting great reviews...I detested this book. It was lame. It was cheesy. It was contrived and farfetched. It was entirely unrealistic and completely unbelievable. Why did I finish it? I was trapped with it on an airplane. I even read the stupid Sky Magazine in my airplane seat pocket before forcing ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Cher rated it really liked it
4.25 stars. A teensy bit predictable with some things, but I literally read this in one day, so yeahhh, very enjoyable. This was the 2nd novel I have read by Sarah Jio and both were exceptional. I'm not a big chick-lit/romance reader, but she adds just enough whimsy and mystery to make them incredible. This would be a perfect summer beach side read - highly recommend it.
Dec 27, 2012 Cari rated it did not like it
I had read so many good reviews of this book but found it completely disappointing.
The Bungalow takes place during WWII, which tends to be one of my favorite periods for historical fiction and is one of the few upsides of this book. The story centers around Anne, who is a socialite in Seattle. She’s engaged to the perfect man and planning for her ensuing perfect wedding and life. Her best friend Kitty decides to join the nursing corps and Anne drops everything to go with her. They are sent to Bo
Laura Kay Bolin
Nov 08, 2011 Laura Kay Bolin rated it it was amazing
The year is 1942 and the country is at war. Twenty-one year old, Anne Calloway is about to marry a man she has known all her life. As Anne prepares to walk down the aisle, she begins to question the life set before her. Her best friend Kitty announces she has enlisted to serve as a nurse and is headed to the Pacific island of Bora-Bora to serve. Anne believes this is her chance to make sure she is about to choice the right life for herself. So Anne heads to Bora-Bora with Kitty.

Shortly after arr
Jan 01, 2012 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-read-books
I'll be reviewing this fully on Chronicles, but this novel set the bar high for my 2012 reading. I was definitely looking forward to it as The Violets of March was easily my favorite book of 2011, but The Bungalow was a joy beyond my expectations.

A warning: There's a surprise adoption theme in the book which isn't really discussed in any other reviews or snippets. It could be triggering for some. Look for more of that on Chronicles.
Jan 10, 2012 Jodie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sarah Jio does it again! What a beautifully crafted novel. You can almost smell the hibiscus flowers through the pages. The characters are well developed, and the plot moves along effortlessly. Sarah's novels are just a joy to read. I start reading them andby the time I realize I am thirsty or hungry, I am a hundred pages into the story. The entire world completely disappears while I read one of Sarah's novels. Don't miss out on this wonderful reading adventure!
Jan 11, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Sarah Jio has done it again with a sweeping love story set in Bora bora and one that covers a lifetime. I instantly became enraptured with Anne and Westry.

If you are looking to be carried away, look no further.
Dec 31, 2012 Shawna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Oh my....Sarah Jio does it again!! I love the way she can weave a story so tightly, that it becomes entrenched in your soul.

The basic plot is this: Wartime 1942. Two best friends Anne and Kitty decide on the night of Anne's engagement party to both sign up as nurses to help in the war. Both for different reasons: Kitty to find a life, Anne to live a life. They are sent to the island of Bora-Bora where Anne meets and falls in love with a soldier named Westry, the two sharing the Bungalow as thei
There are some stories that seem to physically move you into their setting, making you forget your surroundings and driving home the emotions of the characters. The Bungalow is that kind of book.

The story begins just when things are getting serious with the war – the men are beginning to volunteer and the women are starting to prepare for rations. Anne is on the cusp of beginning her adult life with her upcoming marriage when the war intrudes, causing her to drastically look at what she wants an
Angel's Mum
Nov 15, 2012 Angel's Mum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book and I absolutely loved it! This is the first book I've read by Sarah Jio and I am looking forward to reading more by this amazing author. She writes so beautifully. I found myself really sucked into the story and I began to care very deeply about Anne and Westry...such a beautiful love story amidst the backdrop of WWII and the horror of that time period. IMHO, she did an an amazing job with the backstory as well. I highly recommend this book to those who love both histo ...more
Camille Pagán
Aug 28, 2011 Camille Pagán rated it it was amazing
Sarah Jio has done it again! I devoured The Bungalow just as fast as I did The Violets of March. As in Violets, The Bungalow offers readers several mysteries rolled into one compelling and often heart-breaking romance—this time between Anne, a conflicted woman engaged to a man she feels ambivalent about, and Westry, the solider who steals Anne's heart when the pair discover an abandoned Bora-Bora bungalow that was once home to a famous painter (I won't say who, but art enthusiasts will love the ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Suze rated it really liked it
Sarah Jio has once again charmed me and made me fall in love with her characters. The descriptions of BoraBora were so detailed that I could smell the flowers and feel the sea breeze!
She stayed true to the time period (early WW II), which I really appreciate in a novel.

Lovely book!
Aug 07, 2012 TinaB rated it it was amazing
When Anne's best friend Kitty decides to enlist in the nurse corps and finds out she's leaving the country, Anne doesn't hesitate to join her. Putting off her marriage, disappointing her mother and even hurting Gerard(the groom)can't stop the overwhelming desire to help in the war effort. Determined to do something she feels is right, Anne packs her bags, buys her ticket and is off with Kitty to Bora, Bora.

When the women step off the plane its entire new world, men are everywhere and its not lik
Jun 12, 2013 Meryl rated it liked it
This was a really quick read (started and finished it today!), and I would have rated it four stars but there were some glaring plot holes that should've been filled in. For example, (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 28, 2011 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Taking a leap in the midst of a tragic world war was the last thing Anne Calloway had ever imagined doing, but before she knows it she’s doing exactly that. Following along on the coat tails of her best friend Kitty she enlists as a nurse in the second world war only a month before her wedding. Determined to come back to her fiance Anne is stalwart in her love for Gerard until she meets Westry, a soldier serving on base in Bora-Bora. As suddenly finds herself falling in love with Westry she also ...more
Paperback Dolls
Reviewed at Paperback

I loved how Sarah Jio wove love, mystery, past and present in her last novel The Violets of March and she has accomplished this perfect combination yet again with her latest novel The Bungalow. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest novel and Plume was nice enough to provide Paperback Dolls with an ARC. Jio’s latest novel begins in the present as Anne’s daughter is trying to solve a mystery about a beautiful sculpture at her college and Anne receives a note
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Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST CAMELLIA, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (a Library Journal Best Book of 2011), THE BUNGALOW, and the forthcoming, MORNING GLORY (11/26/13), all from Penguin/Plume. Sarah is also the former health and fitness blogger for She has written thousands of articles for national magazines including Redbook, O, The Oprah M ...more
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