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The Violets of March
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The Violets of March

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  14,240 ratings  ·  2,144 reviews

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 grea
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Plume (first published 2011)
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Sarah Jio
Dec 05, 2010 Sarah Jio rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this book, so I'm allowed to love it like my firstborn, right? :) Thank you, everyone, for reading and sharing your comments.
First off, the story sounds familiar-recent divorcee goes away to recover. Having just signed divorce papers, when she arrives at her great-aunt's place, she gets two dates within about 48 hours of arriving. I don't know if someone who is still shocked by a divorce would jump into dating quite so soon.

Second, there were too many characters whose names begin with the letter E. Emily and Evelyn are alive. Elliot and Esther are in the diary Emily finds. And at least one of these people is still al
Laura Kay Bolin

I am an avid reader. I love to read. I love to read all sorts of genres. I have been asked over the years, “what is your favorite book,” well I don’t have one. There are just too many good ones out there. But from now on I have an answer. I will from now on answer, “The Violets of March by Sarah Jio.”
Emily Wilson had it all. Married to a GQ handsome hubby, bestselling author her life was picture perfect. Suddenly, it was all over. Her husband leaves her for anoth
I am 96% finished with this book (per the Kindle app) and I'm not sureif I can finish. I started skimming the review just below this and absolutely agree with the forst paragraph about jumping into dating. ALL of the characters were so superficial- I never cared for any of them. A HUGE pet peeve of mine is when people fall in love, or find someone amazing, and I don't know why. The writing just felt so rushed and insincere! I never once felt the connection between any of the 'lovers'. We
Kathryn Bashaar
This book was okay. It was very light and easy to read. It certainly held my interest. I wanted to keep reading to find out the answer to the mystery, and I ended up finishing it in two days.
It was neatly plotted, with all the loose ends tied up at the end, and the atmosphere of the island was very well drawn.
The book suffered from a flaw that bothers me in a lot of women's literature, though: the main character is essentially passive. Things just happen to her. She's got writer's block, here h
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Afton Nelson
The characters are flat and boring, the dialogue is mind numbing, like when you overhear a conversation in public and it's the stupidest conversation you've ever heard and you just want the people to stop. talking. It was trite, cliche, with no depth to it at all. There were little things through out that bugged me, like when she described her aunt, an 80+ year old woman as "barreling" out of a car on page 21. I know some pretty spry octogenarians and none of them barrel. Then there was the frie ...more
Romancing the Book
Review by Kate: Emily Wilson’s perfect husband turned out to be not so perfect…he left her for another woman. Emily wrote a best-selling novel several years prior to the opening of the story, but has been living with writer’s block ever since and cannot seem to find a story. Somehow, Emily’s great-aunt Bee learns of Emily’s woes, and invites her to visit her on Bainbridge Island, in the Puget Sound. This is one reason I was so excited for this book, as I have been to Bainbridge Island and fell i ...more
You know how your facebook friends post the most annoying crap and you keep telling yourself you're gonna block them so you don't have to see their fucking pointless posts but you never do because deep down, (even though it's twisted and you hate yourself for it)you like to those vapid, poorly written status updates because they make you feel superior?

That's exactly what this book is like.
It's not good.
No. It's not.
It's badly written chick lit and the main character is a hopeless idiot. But I
Emily Wilson's life is falling apart at the seams, her husband was having an affair, and they have decided to divorce, her writing has stalled, and she lacks clarity. She decides to make a trip out to see Aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island, WA. It's just what she needs...

What she finds there is a hidden red velvet journal that reveals dark family secrets that have been buried for decades, and will change Emily's life as she knows it. Sound dramatic? This book had huge potential, but never seemed to p
WARNING: THIS REVIEW IS BADLY WRITTEN BUT I CAN'T BRING MYSELF TO BOTHER TO FIX IT. I usually really like stories like this, where someone is unfolding mysteries of the past, but this one ended up bothering me more than I enjoyed it. Emily's husband cheated on her, has moved out, is weeks away from a wedding with the new woman, and they've just signed divorce papers, but Emily hasn't told anyone but her best friend? That seems weird. And it's also not very important to the plot, so I'm not sure ...more
I saw this book being offered as a giveaway months before its official release date and as soon as I read the summary I wanted to read it so bad. I did not win the giveaway unfortunately; however, once I got my hands on it I started it immediately.

The story's main character Emily Wilson is trying to survive a broken heart as her husband has just left her for another woman. Trying to pick up the pieces of her life and feeling altogether lost, she decides to spend a month visiting her great-aunt

OK, I knew this book was chick-lit and a romance, but still thought it would be somewhat better than what it was. The writing wasn't bad but it was totally and completely unbelievable. Heroine gets divorced, goes to island, immediately has two handsome men in love with her. There is never any sense of "am I ready to love again?" or "wow, how lucky can I be after my bitter divorce?" or "ha ha, gonna rub my ex-husband's face in it!" Emily never seems to have any emotions at all.

The main plot is s
Genna Sarnak
The story is sure please grandmothers, mothers, and daughters alike with its genuine charm, eloquent writing, and romantic portrayal of the transcendence of love.

While it took me a little longer than usual to really get into the book, once I did, I read the entire novel in a few hours, hungrily. The story beautifully captures the power that love has to transcend time, war, and generations. The dual plot lines work wonderfully, masterfully weaving the past with Emily’s own quest for self. Jio’s w
I loved this book! I actually began it June 24, and not the date I entered into Goodreads. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. If Sarah Jio reads this, this was a wonderful book! I figured out the big mystery about 100 pages before the book ended, and I just loved the way it turned out.

----My Full Review----

I heard about this book from a Glamour writer, who wrote it. Intrigued if it was good, I got a sample of it for my Kindle. I tore through the first two chapters on it. I went a
Heather McKeon
In general I really enjoyed this book and the journey it took me on. It's has an unexpected mystery that gets unraveled through out and I always like a mystery and trying to solve it as I read. And I will say that this one kept me guessing a bit as I tried to put all the pieces together, but I did figure most of it out along the way. My major complaint is that there are way too many people in this story that used to go by another name. As the 'mystery' is being unraveled at the end it's all "oh ...more
Part mystery, part love story...a touching tale that illustrates the undying fortitude of true love. I could not put it down.

Shortly following her divorce and less than graceful fall from prior bestselling novelist glory, Emily Wilson retreats to her great-aunt Bee's home on Bainbridge Island. As she settles in for her first night's stay, she discovers a red velvet journal hidden in her nightstand. Intrigued, she begins to read. However, the names remain a complete mystery to her and she finds h
The wood violets that appear spontaneously in one character’s yard in this rather silly story supposedly signify “healing and hope.” And for some unearthly reason the protagonist, Emily, is meant to bring the long-kept secrets of Bainbridge Island residents to light and thus bring about a great healing -- by unraveling the story in the mysterious diary she finds in her great-aunt’s home while visiting from New York City -- a diary that was written in 1943 by “Esther,” at the insistence of a fort ...more
I wanted to like this book. The jacket description sounded intruiging, set on an island, it had promise. I enjoy the books of Karen White and The Violets of March seemed to fall in that genre. I read The Bungalow (Jio's second novel) last summer and enjoyed it so picked this one up when I saw it. From the sound of the other reviews, many people have found it to be delightful and romantic and enchanting. I knew within the first 50 pages (and it is just under 300 pages long) that it was not as goo ...more
The Violets of March by Sarah Jio is a beautifully told novel of family, forgiveness, and second chances.

Emily Wilson thought she had it all. A blockbuster career as a writer, a handsome, successful husband, a life plucked from the pages of a fairy tale. But, ten years later, Emily is reeling from the fallout of divorce and perpetual writers’ block. So, when her aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March with her on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily quickly accepts on the notion
Reviewed for and 1st seen on

As I sit here, ready to pen my review of this book, I must confess I’m just not sure my writing has what it takes to do this book justice. The Violets of March is a captivating and soulful read, I did not want to put it down. Many daily tasks were neglected while I read this novel. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. It’s as if a constant pull beckoned me back to the book, which didn’t disappoint me!

The story itsel
Jenn O'Brien
Something magically happens when you find a delectable wine, an amazing book and finally a cool summer evening where you can read until it is too dark to see the words on the page. That happened to me last night!

It has been too muggy to sit outside and read in the evening and listening to the hum of the air conditioner just doesn’t cut it. But now that we are having a brief cool down, I’m getting out at much as possible.

This was a fantastic book. I loved, loved, loved the story within a story wi
Margaret Dilloway
This novel is written with such affection for its setting and characters that you can't help but fall in love with it. It's about a young novelist whose husband left her, and who comes to Bainbridge Island to stay with her aunt and heal. It's structured around a mystery-- a diary that the main character finds-- so you have to keep reading to find out what happened, and to guess at what happened. I really liked it and read it at almost one sitting. We had to go out and I saved the end for when we ...more
Wow. Just...this is the good stuff. Mystery, heartache, romance, a story-within-a-story and on and on and on. Nothing remotely schmaltzy or contrived here...just one fantastically compelling read. Read it now.
Erika Robuck
When the story opens, former New York times bestselling author, Emily Wilson, watches her husband leave her. She’s barely able to write her name on the divorce papers let alone work on a manuscript, so she seeks retreat at Bainbridge Island, Washington–the place that held all of the magic of her young summers, and her beloved and mysterious Aunt Bee.

Almost as soon as she arrives, the inhabitants of the island gravitate toward Emily and she becomes involved in a decades-old mystery that continues
There are some books that I just read; I read them because I feel obligated, or because there's been a lot of hype surrounding them, or because someone has recommended it to me as a "must read". When I read these kinds of books there are some that don't grab me and I admit to checking how many pages there are, as in, how many more pages of this do I have to read before I'm done? Then, there are some books that I read. These are the books that I find impossible to put down. These are the books th ...more
Pam Barton
Emily lives in New York and just gets a divorce. Her best friend convinces her to go to Bainbridge Island and visit her Aunt for a while to grieve. While visiting her aunt she comes across a diary and begins reading it. She is fascinated by the story and is trying to figure out who wrote it and why she found it in the room she is staying in. As she continues to read it she realizes there are some connections to her own life and family. She also meets Jack who she becomes more and more attracted ...more
Kelly Noyes
I chose to get this book from the library after reading mixed reviews, and I'm so glad I didn't pay money for it. Maybe I didn't like it because I read it back-to-back with Kate Morton's Secret Keeper, which is a better novel in every way. This one just made me mad, because it had some promise, but was just not good. The problems are many: the main character is an author (Emily) who is "discovering" a mystery by reading an old diary, but it takes her half of the book to actually read the whole t ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Staci rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Staci by: Sarah Jio
Shelves: 2011-reads
Reaction after finishing this book: That last sentence sums up my reading experience perfectly. I couldn't resist reading the first page, and after that I was truly fascinated. When I finished the final page, I sat there for a few moments to just soak in everything that I had read and said out loud, "I loved this book! I thought this author did such an excellent job with weaving the past into the present day and really keeping me on the edge of my seat as to how the story in the diary would end ...more
Collin Shea
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve read an entire book in one day, but this book had me hooked from page one. Maybe because I was just in the right mood and most definitely because there were aspects to which I could relate (divorce, the healing magnetism of the beach and the ocean, the complexity of relationships between women, the tragedy of love) or to which I wish I could relate. I just found this to be a wonderful story.

I am becoming a bit weary of the basic theme, which seems to be so popul
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Sisterhood of the...: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio 30 44 Sep 30, 2014 05:13PM  
Reader's Ink: Violets of March 14 40 Mar 19, 2012 09:35AM  
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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
More about Sarah Jio...
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“If summer had a flavor, it was pink bubble gum.” 32 likes
“Great love endures time, heartache, and distance. And even when all seems lost, true love lives on.” 18 likes
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