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The Violets of March

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  23,594 ratings  ·  2,914 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
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Trish Amazon! I got in on Kindle but you can get a physical copy too. Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Book Depository, pretty much anywhere online.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,594 ratings  ·  2,914 reviews

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Sarah Jio
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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. ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
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
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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
Jan 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Bashaar
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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 updates but you never do because deep down, (even though it's twisted and you hate yourself for it)you like those vapid, poorly written posts 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'll be god
Afton Nelson
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
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
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
3-1/2 Stars

I love when a book tells a present day story intertwined with a story in the past. In this book, our main character Emily, finds a diary which she can’t stop reading. Although The Violets of March had a slow start for me, I eventually became engrossed with it. Once the characters from the diary began to connect with the characters from the current day, I didn’t want to stop reading. I was expecting more from the ending and that took my rating down a little but Sarah Jio is now on my
The Violets of March is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by Sarah Jio. This novel offers three interweaving storylines: one from present day, a historical story from a 1940's diary, and one that is reference from a novel published in 1930: Years of Grace. All the storylines reflect each other in some way or another and this setup created many characters and plots to keep track of. Although I found this challenging at times, I thought it was worth it in the end. Themes in this book
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
There are many family secrets to be discovered at Aunt Bea's house on Bainbridge Island, to where Emily, an author, escapes when her husband leaves her for another woman. A diary, or maybe the beginnings of a memoir or novel, is found in the nightstand; and while Emily is telling us her story, she is also reading us the diary, and oftentimes the present emulates the past. Sometimes a little too conveniently or too pat. And it is so frustrating when you know the characters are on the verge of a b ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
A dual story line that portays loss, regrets, love, mystery, and hope. Sarah Jio continues to be one of favorite authors. 3.5+ stars!
Romancing the Book
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
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
Part of my 2020 Social Distancing Read-a-thon

This novel was basically an updated version of the Gothic romance/mystery novel. A young woman protagonist who has suffered a set back and goes to stay with a relative to get her life reorganized. She discovers that her family has big secrets, which involve the guy she has run into on the beach. What is going on and how is he involved? An old diary mysteriously appears in her dresser drawer, giving her clues to work from. Of course there are the inevi
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great story! Once I started reading I couldn't stop. For some reason, this story, actually, both stories in this book resonated with me. This is the second book I have read by Sarah Jio and it wont be the last. This book was a feel-good story that most people would enjoy. ...more
Ivi Oltovska
this book is totally stolen from my diary!! it doesn't deserve my total attention! I admit it is good but still...2 stars ...more
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book and had expected more from it, having read the blurb of the book " so when Emilly's great aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, Emily accepts, longing to be healed the the sea, researching her next book Emily discovers a red velvet diary,dated 1943 whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life............ I was intrigued by the blurb as it had the makings of an excellent story.

The plot however i
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This was one of the books recommended to me in my romance novel reading quest. I can see why, as it is set on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and the central character is a woman finding herself and love after a bad breakup. She stays with her great-aunt on the island, and finds a journal from 1943, one which seems to have something important inside.

This was more complex than many of the contemporary romance novels I read but still had that taste of ultra-convenience when it came to the right pe
Heather McKeon
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
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
B the BookAddict
May 22, 2013 rated it did not like it

For a novel based on the beautiful Bainbridge Island and Puget Sound, this one is remarkably devoid of description. What that resulted in for me is basically a very flat novel; merely words on a page. I wasn't shown very much of where things were happening, neither was I really engaged with any of the characters. None of them showed very much emotion throughout the story, including around the time of the funeral. As for the secret which Emily was seeking the answer to: honestly, it was all rathe
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful heartwarming story. It is perfect for a summer read.
It is told in the present day and a story in a 1940’s diary. The stories are intertwined with one another.

Emily newly divorced is heartbroken is an author from New York City.
She is given the opportunity to visit her aunt on Bainbridge Island in the state of Washington. The descriptions of the island are breathtaking, it makes you want to pick up and go there.
Emily finds a diary in the bedroom in Aunt Bee’s home. Should she r
Diane Chamberlain
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When people ask me who writes like me, I often tell them Sarah Jio. Love her books.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book.
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Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of ALWAYS, published by Random House (Ballantine), as well as seven other novels from Penguin Books, including, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, ...more

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