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The Bungalow

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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 from the author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March, 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.

290 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2011

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About the author

Sarah Jio

25 books4,066 followers
Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of WITH LOVE FROM LONDON, coming from Random House (Ballantine) 2/22, as well as seven other novels from Random House and Penguin Books, including, ALWAYS, ALL THE FLOWERS IN PARIS, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her husband, three boys, three step-children and two puppies.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,493 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Jio.
Author 25 books4,066 followers
August 3, 2011
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
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
377 reviews1,595 followers
April 11, 2015
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's also a story of discovery. Discovering ones own heart and of finding a second chance long after all hope is gone. The story is a mixture of romance, mystery and war.

Anne Galloway is engaged to Gerard, a wealthy man, which was her parents motive. Her best friend Kitty is determined to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific Island of Bora Bora during World War 11, and Anne decides to leave everything behind and joins her.

When Anne arrives she meets a handsome soldier named Westry and they start a friendship, that soon blossoms into a romance. They spend a lot of their time together in an abandoned cursed bungalow in the jungle.

There is also a mystery in the story about a girl that is murdered. The Bungalow will keep you turning the pages wanting more. This book is just what I needed. I can't describe how much I loved this loved this book. I was swept in from the first two paragraphs and when the ending came I wish there was more!
Profile Image for Danielle.
162 reviews5 followers
June 1, 2012
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, sometime later in the day, or the next day, or even the next week?

And this happens multiple times.

**Spoiler Alert**

Best friend seems sad and distant after traumatic event? OK! Great --more time for you to spend at the Bungalow!

Murder cover-up because you said we have to? OK!

Travel thousands of miles to see someone who has been badly injured in the hospital and you are rudely turned away in a nurse scuffle while the woman who encouraged you to come shouts amid the confusion "I should have explained..."

Great, explain away. Instead you leave the hospital disappointed and...what, get immediately on a boat to return back? That's it?

Wait 60 years to find out why? OK.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
141 reviews7 followers
November 19, 2014
So this book was one that I was looking forward to and was hugely let down by it. I wanted to read it because I heard it had a minor theme of adoption in it... what I didn't know was that this book had minor themes of everything in it it seemed.

It's a small book (only 287, and small pages... the kind that take you a second to read). It was a book of "and then's...". What I mean by that is that it never lingers on any one subject very long. It is constantly like "and then this happened...". It is the kind of book that spends way to much time describing the unimportant things like the weather outside or the colour of a dress, but then the hugely important things are rushed over.

eg: Mary (a nursing friend) is in occupied France and is seeing Anne for the first time in a year. The convo goes something like this
"Oh Anne, it was horrible being here in occupied France, we had three Jews living with us, but they got taken. I don't know if I will see them again. It is just so hard for me. Lets talk about something else".

"ok, lets go to the hospital"

"ok (then at the hospital) Oh Anne, see that window that is open up there? That was were the Nazi's did a scientific experiment on a Jewish lady and her baby to see how long it would take them to starve. I read the reports"

"oh my dear, that must have been awful. Now about Westry..."

It drove me MAD! Things that were important were brushed over. It was like she wanted to get as much emotion into the book as possible so she had all these crazy things (like Kitty, Anne's BF, had a baby and gave it away... then Kitty goes crazy and at the end of the book it is like "oh I know now that I was depressed because of the baby" but there was hardly any supporting text at all about what she went through.

I guess it is just hard because all the characters were one dimensional and you really are frustrated that the important topics are so brushed over.
Here is a list of the topics that I remember that could be books in themselves:

-Relinquishing a baby
-dealing with war-time medicine
-The Holocaust
-Losing the love of your life and marrying another man

This is all in there folks! Most of these topics have maybe two pages devoted to them....Sigh.

I gave it a two star to be generous. I think it should have a 1.5.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cari.
211 reviews2 followers
December 27, 2012
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 Bora Bora and seem to treat it all as an exciting vacation. Anne sees Westry, a soldier across a room and I can only assume falls in love instantly. They somehow find a bungalow in the jungle and continue to meet there.

There was no character development in this book and most of the story seemed to be convenient rather than making any sense. First, I didn’t understand why Anne and Kitty were friends. Kitty was selfish and petty throughout the book. The relationship between Anne and Westry was never developed, they were just suddenly madly in love. It seemed that they’d hardly talked. Finally, I couldn’t respect Anne’s character. It seemed obvious she joined the war effort to find a more passionate relationship, leaving her fiancé hanging and then continued to do so throughout the book. I also couldn’t fathom how she could let a murder go unquestioned without some sort of explanation. It was all too improbable. It felt like a really bad Lifetime movie.

This book was beyond predictable. Every plot twist was so obvious. And the ending was particularly ridiculous. I kept hoping that the ending wasn’t going there but it did and it was too unbelievable and not satisfying. I like a happy ending but the romantic heroes finally ending up together at ninety years old, after Anne married her perfect fiancé and Westry pined for her his entire life, isn’t happy.

I won’t be reading any more by this author.
Profile Image for Deacon Tom F.
1,648 reviews124 followers
January 30, 2021
Extremely Touching

I absolutely loved this book. The backstory of WWII was a strong attachment for me. Next, the love gained and lost filled my heart with a myriad of feelings.

Nurses have always been my weak spot and it remains so with this storyline. The way they cared for the troops with such care touches my heart BTW-my wife is a nurse.

The characters are very very relatable. In my military years, I met each one in one situation or another. It helped make this book not only a fast read but a supersonic read. One day—one sitting! Wow, I was hooked.

This is a surprise winner for me that I highly recommend.
Profile Image for ♡Karlyn P♡.
605 reviews1,203 followers
February 23, 2012
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 a lost love and the mysteries that surrounded it, which occurred in 1943. Anne and her friend Kitty traveled to Tahiti as nurses to help with the war, a sudden decision which also leaves Anne’s fiancé Gerard home without his bride to be.

While on the island Anne meets Westry, and his unique charm steels her heart. They discover a secret beach bungalow believed to be cursed by the natives, and they spend their free time there enjoying each other’s company and ultimately falling in love. But their one year tour of duty comes quickly, and the events that occur changes much. A murder, betrayal, jealousy among best friends and desperate times interweave with the story.

While I prefer reading straight romance novels, I do enjoy the twist of two lovers torn apart only to reunite much later. However I am not fond of dishonesty and cheating in any relationship, and despite the warm and tender feelings we see between Anne and Westry, she is still wearing Gerard’s engagement ring. Because of this, and also several wrong decisions and misconceptions on Anne’s part, I found myself not liking her as a heroine. She made a lot of choices for other people, assumed she knew answers without ever questioning, and ultimately made a selfish match with a person who deserved better.

The fact that Anne was 90 years, and thus Wesley was 94 or 95, old also rubbed me as too implausible. I guess it’s possible that at their age they could be so agile and healthy, but I didn’t buy it. I also felt the character development was lacking, and the I just couldn’t relate with the secondary stories. Some of them felt like they went nowhere. This was an enjoyable read, but it does requiring a lot of suspending your disbelief. It is a great book if you just want to escape to the 1940’s and enjoy a bit of mystery and romance, but don’t take it too seriously.
698 reviews
August 31, 2012
I'm sorry, but this book is completely insane. As in: insane in the membrane. It is like a bad Lifetime movie and it just stretches all limits of credulity. It's the same author as The Violets of March but I wouldn’t recommend this one in any way, shape or form, unless you were looking for something extreeeeeemely simple.

Want a quick synopsis? Ok, fasten your seatlbelts. Here we go:

Jennifer’s grandmother Anne reminisces about her time during WWII, when she decided to postpone her marriage to wealthy Gerard and go use her nurse training to be a nurse in the Pacific theater, in Bora Bora, with her good friend Kitty. Once they arrive in Bora Bora, Kitty immediately jumps in with the wrong crowd and does a lot of carousing and ends up pregnant, has the baby, places the baby (a girl whom she wishes to name Adella), with local adoptive parents, and then lapses into PPD and her friendship with Anne is severely strained. Anne herself begins to fall in love with US soldier Westry and they meet and have liaisons in a little bungalow they find on the beach; astonishingly (this completely stretches all limits of credulity) they find a painting in there that was left behind by a previous occupant, none other than Paul Gauguin (like I said: strains the limits of ALL credulity, right?). They even meet some of the ladies whom Gauguin painted, who are also being victimized by the soldier who got Kitty pregnant and who, eventually, ends up killing one of them who refuses to stay silent. Anne and her beau treat her with morphine to ease her final moments and then bury her in the sand (you know, because that's what you do with dead bodies you find). At the end of the war, Anne goes back to Seattle – where her father now lives with her French housekeeper and her mother has absconded to NYC where she is an alcoholic and has an affair with a decorator – but Anne always wonders if she was meant to marry Gerard or was Westry her one true love? Her friend Mary (nb who later commits suicide), who has now been stationed in France as a nurse to the troops there, writes to say she has found Westry in a hospital there and she wonders if Anne wants to come to see him, to find out once and for all. She travels to Paris but is not allowed to see Westry b/c, lo and behold, Kitty is there treating him and they appear to have fallen in love! She cannot believe it. She goes homes, marries Gerard, and has a perfectly fine marriage with him that lasts the ages. Years later, she finds out that Kitty had still been suffering from PPD when she did not permit Anne to see Westry in Paris, but she didn’t love him after all, she only admired him b/c he had tried to protect her from the mean soldier who had gotten her pregnant. Kitty didn’t marry Westry herself either but went home to CA, married another man, and had 3 daughters. Anne helps Kitty find her daughter whom she had placed for adoption so many years ago in Bora Bora and now Kitty has 4 daughters again, not just 3. Anne and Kitty reunite and become friends again and Anne and Westry reunite through some other plot device that continues to strain credulity, and they are both widows/widowers now and their white heads bow together as they walk across a fall college landscape scattered with falling leaves. UGH!!

So, show of hands?!? Who’s interested in this one?!? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews153 followers
December 28, 2011
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 little niggles of doubt in her mind. Is there something more to love? She chastises herself for questioning, yet she longs for passion and spark. The day of her ritzy engagement party, her best friend Kitty shows hours late in tears. She signed up for the nursing corps and will soon be headed to Bora Bora. Anne hastily agrees to go with her. On the tiny island Anne meets Westry. Soon, she is sneaking away to see him in an abandoned bungalow. Their relationship blossoms into a passionate romance. Caught in a time of war, they know they can't afford to waste a moment, for tomorrow they could be torn apart. In the small, sequestered bungalow, the two carve out a little piece of paradise. A place where they can hide from the turmoil of war. Inevitably, Anne loses her heart to Westry. As the tides of war sweep to the island, the men are called away to fight and Anne is set to return home. At their parting, a misconception sparks between them and then they are separated by an ocean of time and misunderstanding. Anne clings to the one memento of her life on the island, a gold locket worn around her neck. Seventy years later a letter arrives for Anne in Seattle. An inquiry into a murder that occurred while Anne was on the island. The fingers of fate pull a reluctant Anne back to the past. Old secrets and memories come flooding back. Can a lost love reignite?

What I Liked:
*This is an excellent historical fiction book set during World War II. I loved being swept back to those turbulent years of war, the time of my grandparents youth. The story takes you to the sun drenched shores of Bora Bora, where battles rage in the Pacific. It is a time of heated love affairs, fueled by the need for the here and now, for there may not be another meeting. It is interesting and heartbreaking to see how war ravages through everyone's lives. If you appreciate historical fiction, then you will love this book. I personally enjoyed getting a clearer picture of what the world was like for my grandparents in their youth. I found myself wishing that I could have heard all of their stories.
*I enjoyed the many facets of this book. There is Anne and Westry's affair, the war, the floundering of Anne and Kitty's friendship, a murder mystery and numerous other little tales. The author skillfully weaves all of these stories into a neat, cohesive plot, that is interesting, entertaining and throughly engaging.
*I am not a big romance novelist enthusiast, especially when it comes to pages of steamy love acts, that often overtake the story. To me, The Bungalow, is exactly how a good romance should be written. It is poignant, tender and passionate but it is done in a subtle manner. The love scenes have just the right amount of heat and passion, without delving into pages of lurid detail. Ms. Jio gives you a nice basis and then lets your imagination do the rest. I have to say, Wow when it comes to a bar of soap and tropical rain!
*I loved that I became completely absorbed into the lives of the characters. They felt like real people. I found by the end of the story that I cared very deeply for all of them. Ms. Jio does an amazing job with the characters and the story. Make sure you set aside time to read this one because once you start you will be completely drawn into Anne and Westry's world and you will hesitate to leave. A fabulous read with an ending that is well worth the journey.

And The Not So Much:
*Sarah Jio creates many memorable characters, but I felt that a couple of them lacked development. For instance, Gerard, the other man who holds a piece of Anne's heart. There is very little information on him and I wish that I had a little more detail on his life. Anne's mother is another person that was puzzling. I wanted to understand her a little better especially after Anne's visit to New York. The scene of Anne's encounter with her in the apartment was jarring and lacked any type of resolution.
*I appreciated that the story had many sub plots and most of them wrapped up neatly. At the end of the book though, I was left with a couple of nagging questions. I longed to know Mary's entire story. What happened with Edward and what led her to her final painful choice? I was not clear on all the motives behind Kitty's behavior. Why did she almost immediately begin to push Anne way on their arrival? Kitty had so many secrets and some of them were not fully revealed. Finally, I would love a little more insight into Anne's life and marriage after the war.

The Bungalow, is a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend. It is a World War II romance with a captivating story of love and loss. This is a book that will grab you and won't let go until the final pages. Even after reading this story, my mind is still lingering back in the bungalow with Anne and Westry. You don't want to miss this one. I was enthralled with Sarah Jio's book and I look forward to reading her other works. This novel will end up on my best reads of 2011 list!

Favorite Quotations:

"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 fizzof a million bubbles kissing the sand."

"An old lady. I saw her every day, this woman, but her reflection never ceased to surprise me. When did I become her?

"You be yourself," she said. "And never ignore what your heart is telling you, even when it hurts, even when it seems like following it will be very difficult or untidy."

"I watched as the island grew smaller, until it appeared a mere dot on a map. A dot where so much had happened, and so much had been left behind."

A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Plume Publishing via NetGalley.
Posted on my blog: http://rainydayramblings.typepad.com/
Stop by to enter to win a copy of this book or your choice of nine others from my best of 2011 list!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,721 reviews6,662 followers
August 4, 2015
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 which I enjoy when reading historical fiction. It's always nice to see the whole "where are they now" follow-up in my opinion.

Overall, I liked The Bungalow. The historical aspect transported me to 1940's war-ready Bora Bora, and I love it when an author can make history come alive like that. This part was perfect. But my frustration grew a bit as I witnessed painfully preventable interactions negatively affect the romance element. Deceit, misunderstandings, and a few unfinished conversations had me almost yelling at the book in an effort to prevent our sweet Anne from living a different life than the one love set out for her. On the plus side, the fact I emotionally responded as such is a credit to the very engaging writing :) In the last quarter of the book though, the discoveries and secrets revealed were quite predictable in my opinion...and when it comes to mystery, I'm typically shocked by everything lol. Maybe the predictability was intentional?

Overall, I enjoy Ms. Jio's writing and am always interested in reading her books when I see them at the library. The Bungalow was no exception. I bumped up my 3 stars to 3.5 just for the time and place components which I loved the most. If you enjoy the combination of women's fiction and historical fiction, or if you are just a fan of Sarah Jio, I encourage you to take a look at this one.

My favorite quote:
"You can never play a part in life, especially not in love."

I couldn't find a photo online anywhere that really does the setting justice, but I thought this image translates a bit of the tranquility the characters found during their moments together at the isolated bungalow.

If interested, you can view Sarah Jio's book trailer for The Bungalow AT THIS YOUTUBE LINK.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,370 reviews918 followers
November 15, 2015
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 in passion and Anne wishes to be marrying someone that she can be proud of; rather than someone whose father simply had the funds to see that his son is never drafted. Anne has a personal desire to join in the war effort and to do her part and toys with the idea of joining the Army Nurse Corps. At her engagement party, her best friend Kitty tells Anne of her decision to join the Army Nurses and that she’s being shipped to the South Pacific in one weeks’ time. Anne makes the immediate decision to go with Kitty as well, that she needed to do something rather than simply playing a part.

Anne arrives at Bora Bora not anticipating that she would be giving her heart away to soldier Westry Green. Their time together is blissful inside an abandoned beach bungalow that they call their own.

”For now, this little slice of heaven is mine.” He looked at me. “Well, ours. I’ll let you have half.”

The continuing war and a brutal crime that the two witnessed threatens to put a wedge between them and they are separated seemingly forever as Westry is sent to Europe and Anne is sent back home to Seattle. Years later, Anne has never been able to keep Westry from her mind and when a letter arrives from Tahiti she dares to hope that the two can be brought together once again.

Overall Thoughts
Before you decide to pick up this book I would suggest you have a free day to be able to completely dive in. Once I started this I simply could not stop; I was completely captivated. I found myself entirely enthralled in the romance of Anne and Westry but felt such sorrow at the impending separation between the two fearing the worst at what seemed inevitably to happen.

The brutal crime that Anne and Westry witnessed seemed at first like a disjointed piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit at first. As did the mysterious painting that they found in the Bungalow. I loved how it all came together in the end and how it was more integral to the entire story than one would originally think. All loose ends were tied up beautifully and I wasn’t left with a single lingering doubt that this was a fabulous novel that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. This will make you smile, it will make you sad, and it may even produce a few tears (speaking from personal experience). But I must say, it was well worth it.

This is my second novel by Sarah Jio and I must say I’m just as amazed as I was the first time at how much I enjoy her books. This woman has a talent for writing and I’ve become a devoted fan of hers. I can’t wait to read more from her in the future.
Profile Image for Mandy.
317 reviews309 followers
May 27, 2019
Give me a book about WW2, romance, some mystery and it’s on. This one bad all 3 and a fancy little 360° that took place at the beginning and end.
Anne goes to Bora Bora to be a nurse during WW2 and meets Westry. She is engaged to another man but during her time overseas Anne finds who she really is and who isn’t a priority in her life. Scandals, affairs, and a mysterious painter make this book a top read for me.
The love affair with these two was so timeless and wrap in a war and an age old romance with a hidden bungalow... made this novel absolutely amazing.
Profile Image for Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo.
620 reviews182 followers
February 11, 2015
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 that it ended; I could have stayed with Anne and Westry for a while longer. At times Jio's prose sung and my emotions ebbed and flowed with the story.

The characters are wonderful, even the loathsome Kitty. My heart wept for Atea, "Cleo", and "Grayson". I loved the ending - it was what should have happened - "Cleo, you're a little late." Just as I was to read this delightful novel that had sat on my shelf waiting for me.

Profile Image for Myrna.
703 reviews
September 9, 2016
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.
Profile Image for San.
80 reviews10 followers
November 22, 2020
Kaip ir visos skaitytos šios autorės knygos yra su be galo geromis istorijomis! ❤️ Šita taip pat nereali!
Profile Image for Ugnė (gyvenimai_knygose) .
163 reviews32 followers
January 11, 2019
„Aš netikiu nei pasakojimais, nei riteriais blizgančiais šarvais. Manau, kad meilę pasirenkam. Ką nors sutinki. Tau jis patinka. Nusprendi mylėti. Labai paprasta.“ (Ana)
Taip 1942-ųjų rugpjūtį manė dvidešimt vienerių Ana Kelovėj, kartu su geriausia drauge Kite Morgan spontaniškai nusprendusi vykti į Bora Boros salą dirbti karo slaugėmis. Tačiau namuose sužadėtinį palikusi mergina saloje ne tik atranda tikrąją meilę, bet ir pakeičia savo požiūrį į gyvenimą, kuris Anai yra paruošęs unikalią, šiltą ir jausmingą bei užburiančią gyvenimo kelionę.
Pirmiausia, LABAI ilgai jau norėjau perskaityti šią knygą. Girdėjau tiek gerų atsiliepimų apie ją, kad net nelabai gilinausi į patį romano siužetą - žinojau, kad knyga yra apie Antrąjį pasaulinį karą ir tiek užteko pelnyti mano dėmesį. Bet kaip nebuvo jos bibliotekose, taip nebuvo. Galiausiai atsidūrus šiai knygai mano rankose turiu pasakyti, kad ji ne tik kad nenuvylė, bet ir pralenkė visus mano lūkesčius. Skaitant šią knygą supratau, kad tai unikali galimybė pamatyti ir pabandyti suprasti, kad net tuomet kai vyko patys baisiausi pasaulyje karai ar revoliucijos, tekėjo gyvenimo vaga. Žmonės mokėsi, bendravo, dirbo įprastus darbus, įsimylėdavo. Buvo neapsakomai įdomu skaityti apie paprastų žmonių gyvenimą karo metais, tą žiaurią neteisybę, taip sujaukusią jų pasaulį. Labai rekomenduoju šią knygą ne tik istorijos mėgėjams, bet įtraukiančio ir jausmingo romano išsiilgusiems skaitytojams!
Perskaityta: 2018-10-04
Profile Image for Lilisa.
391 reviews54 followers
September 10, 2016
OMG - other than the fact that the book is set in Bora Bora and I get to fulfill reading a book set on the island, I’m afraid there’s not a whole lot more positive thoughts to share about the book. Well, maybe that the story is set during World War II and I salute the men and women who sacrificed much for their countries, and despite the fact that the book is so weak, I appreciate that the author most likely spent considerable time and energy on this project. But the plot was so weak, the story unbelievable - calling upon the reader’s willing suspension of disbelief time and time again, numerous coincidental occurrences that make the book totally implausible. Examples, there’s a hidden bungalow on the beach that just happens to contain a Ganguin painting, the bungalow has a ready supply of stationary that Anne can write letters to Westry, Anne just so happens to have her medical bag in the bungalow - the bungalow she sneaks away to every chance she gets to meet Westry, she’s 90 years old at the end of the book but yet she can walk faster than her granddaughter on the beaches of Bora Bora, and yes, can be on her hands and knees digging deep into the soil with her bare hands - that is, digging more than a foot into the soil with no help from anyone at 90 years old, really??? Has the author been around a 90-year woman? And this goes on and on…
Profile Image for Cassie.
213 reviews
March 9, 2012
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 myself to finish the book. However...I should have known better. When I got home from my trip and tried to figure out how I could have picked such a stupid book. I realized that the author, Sarah Jio, was also the author of my last "trapped on an airplane" book--Violets in Winter--another detestable book for the same reasons. I guess I am not a fan of Sarah Jio. I will stay away from her books.
Profile Image for Cher.
800 reviews272 followers
March 26, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Luanne Ollivier.
1,624 reviews84 followers
December 19, 2011
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 qualifications to their college degrees. "What we'd do with these credentials was of great concern to our parents. Heaven forbid we actually use them."

Anne's future is already planned for her - marriage to Gerard Godfrey, the local banker's son. "Mother and Mrs. Godfrey had planned the union since I was in infancy, of course. Calloways would marry Godfreys. It was as natural as coffee and cream."

But, it is 1942 and the War is on. When Kitty announces that she has enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and is shipping out for the South Pacific, Anne does the unimaginable - she follows her heart and signs up as well.

Kitty and Anne land in Bora Bora. Kitty sees it all as a grand adventure, while Anne is more reserved. But Anne is inextricably drawn to Westry, one of the soldiers on base. Together they discover an abandoned beach hut and it is here that they fall in love - and plan for a life together when the war ends. But the locals say the hut is cursed. And it may well be - a horrific event puts an end to their sanctuary - and their plans for the future.

Jio has again woven the past and present together to create an absolutely addicting story. But it is the past that captured me the most. I loved the character of Anne, her decisions to follow her heart, her kindness and her innocence. Jio has captured the naivete of a young woman discovering herself in a turbulent time period. I initially enjoyed the character of Kitty as well, drawn to her sense of adventure. However, by the end of the book I quite disliked her. The setting itself is a character in the book as well. I was able to picture clear blue water, white sands, palm tree, island breezes and of course, the little bungalow.

Jio's writing flows easily and effortlessly. I was caught up in the story from first page to last. It's hard to pigeonhole The Bungalow into one genre slot. It's historical, but there's a (not too hard to solve) mystery as well, but the romantic thread is the most compelling. Yes, there are coincidences that tie things up quite neatly in the end, but you know what? - It works. For a feel good read to warm you up on a cold winter night, pick up The Bungalow. Releases Dec. 27/11.

Profile Image for Becky.
514 reviews9 followers
January 11, 2012
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 bubbles kissing the sand."

(That's from the first page people!)

It took me awhile to process the story - I was enraged by the actions of some of the characters, and swooning at others. It takes a lot for me to really fall in love with a leading male character, but I fell head over heels for Westry. However, I couldn't figure out why I was angry at the end of this book. I liked the story, I connected with the characters, but I was in a bad mood for the rest of the day when I finished it!

The next day (after I woke up, still thinking about the story), I realized I was angry because it ended. The love the author created between these characters was so heart-warming and incredible I was angry I didn't get to experience more of it!

The love was almost tangible; I can still feel myself wrapped up in the relationship like a warm, cozy blanket. (And let me tell you, if Westry was real, Ben might have serious competition).

There were twists in the story I wasn't expecting - at the end there were things I was anticipating and I found myself almost holding my breath! I won't go into details (I don't want to give anything away), but I was engaged the whole time. This book was a quick read (I finished it in a day), but I was in the story the whole time, and the few times I had to put it down I felt weird because I missed it, and wanted to get back to it.

I originally gave the story four stars but realized I've been thinking about it so much it had to get five instead. I'm already thinking about re-reading it!
July 19, 2022
2,5 ⭐
Скука! Чак накрая така ,леко имаше нещо аха-аха да грабне вниманието, но докато стигна дотам беше мъка.
Profile Image for Laura Kay Bolin.
165 reviews77 followers
November 8, 2011
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 arriving, Anne meets a handsome soldier named Westry. Anne and Westry find an abandoned bungalow on the beach and they begin the processes of repairing it. While repairing the bungalow, they would leave each other little notes in and over time their friendship turns to romance. Then one evening everything changes when a shocking crime occurs. Anne’s tour is over and Westry is being redeployed. Yet the mystery of what happened that night is still lingering. Will they find each other again, was their love the sort of love that stands the test of time and war? You need to read it yourself to find out, but I promise you will be glad you did.

I’m not sure about anyone else, but when I read I see the story in my head. Some books are more real than others. Sometimes they are even a little hazy and I get moments of focus. For me, The Bungalow was an old black and white movie straight out of my grandparent’s generation. I was swept away by Jio’s vivid descriptions and I loved every minute of it. I honestly could visualize the entire book! Once again, I couldn’t put Sarah’s book down! Thank goodness I mostly read after the kids went to bed because I was so engrossed in the story I lost track of time. I finished The Bungalow in a day.

When the story was over, I was left with a few questions. At first this really bothered me, but truthfully it makes the whole story more realistic. When in real life is everything tied up nice and pretty? Almost never. When the story ended, I was sad. I wanted more—I didn’t want to leave these characters. I will now have to sit on my hands and wait for Jio’s next novel to be published.

An absolute definite recommend! I recall after I read Sarah’s first book, The Violets of March, saying it was my favorite book. I think after reading The Bungalow I can say Sarah Jio is my favorite contemporary writer.
Profile Image for Meryl.
231 reviews
June 13, 2013
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, I find it distracting when there are glaring plot holes, and I find it upsetting when those plot holes occupy more of my thoughts than the rest of the plot. The story was enjoyable, but it could've been much better if the author had taken the time to either shore up some of these questions or just removed those pieces of the plot entirely.
Profile Image for Jenna.
121 reviews124 followers
January 2, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Jodie.
1,863 reviews
January 10, 2012
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!
Profile Image for Julie.
752 reviews61 followers
January 11, 2012
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.
Profile Image for HÜLYA.
1,074 reviews36 followers
April 30, 2021
Çok etkiliyeci bir hikaye idi. Ama sonu beni hayal kırıklığına uğrattı diyebilirim. Adalet çok geç geldi ve bence geç gelen adalet adalet değildir. Yapanın yanına kar kaldı...
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