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The Violets of March

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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 great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

A mesmerizing debut with an idyllic setting and intriguing dual story line, The Violets of March announces Sarah Jio as a writer to watch.

296 pages, Paperback

First published April 26, 2011

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About the author

Sarah Jio

27 books4,247 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 3,076 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Jio.
Author 27 books4,247 followers
December 6, 2010
I wrote this book, so I'm allowed to love it like my firstborn, right? :) Thank you, everyone, for reading and sharing your comments.
Profile Image for Janet.
307 reviews22 followers
May 26, 2012
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 alive and using a different name. Confusing.

Third, I kind of guessed the "secret" early, and it wasn't believable how many people know and didn't want to tell Emily. For cripes' sake, the old lady was 85 and could have croaked at any minute, and that secret wasn't such a big deal anyway. I got bored halfway through. However, if the author writes another book, I might give it a try.
Profile Image for Jess.
175 reviews2 followers
January 26, 2012
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 all remember our first loves- but my first impression of the whole Greg relationship was that he was just some high school summer crush. I'm actually laughing to myself as I write this, remembering the whole sappy scence where he takes her to the rock where he carved their names.

Other issues of annoyance:

1. I find it hard to believe that EVERY SINGLE PERSON but Esther went by nicknames. (I'm laughing and eye rolling again)

2. Every time the author wanted to convery that the person talking was elderly she had them call Emily "dear". About a quarter way through the book I was thinking it could be a drinking game, but then I realized that 2 chapters later I would probably be cross eyed. (Might have made for a better book) 4 chapters later, all I could picture every time I read that word was a haggard crone, croking the word out while brushing her hair with a fork. Wasn't Bee supposed to be this vivicious women!

3. If I went weeks without telling my best friend I had terminal cancer and she didn't notice something was up on her own, she's fired.

4. I wanted to barf (yes, I'm very eloquent) every time I heard Emily described as 'beautiful'. That seemed to be this girl's only saving grace. I never found her personality, she was a bad author, and when she finally did write another book she just finished someone elses. She also proved to be quite stupid, reading a book about her grandmother's mistakes, just to make the some ones herself.

Pausing to finish book (Once I start I have to finish)...

Oh, Jack is an idiot, too. Suddenly their connection makes sense.
Profile Image for Laura Kay Bolin.
165 reviews78 followers
May 11, 2011

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 another woman and her best-seller writing career is going know where because she has writers block. Where can she go? She decides to go back to one of her favorite places in the world, Bainbridge Island, where she spent her summers growing up visiting her Aunt Bee.

There to deal with the loss of her marriage and hopefully to find some inspiration for a new book, what she finds instead is an Island full of secrets and two love interests. Love interest number one is Greg, an old high school boyfriend and the other good looking local artist, Jack. While figuring out her own love life, she stumbles onto an old diary dated from 1943. As Emily begins reading the story of diary, she finds her own life to have parallels to the author, Ester’s, life. Emily begins to realize the sort of love she wants and deserves. Feeling so close to Ester, she realizes she must solve the mystery, but the more Emily learns the more questions arise.

I have a very messy house right now, because I could hardly put this book down. I read it in one day and that is not an easy feat in my home. When I read the journal entries (which are more of a story within a story) I felt transported to another era. I was completely engaged in the story and lost track of time. The descriptions are very well written. I could smell the salty air and I could feel Emily’s frustration. The entire time I was trying to figure out the puzzle of the story and I could not figure it out. I wanted the mystery solved, but at the same time I didn’t want the story to end.

This book has goosebump moments and brought me to tears! I LOVED this book! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading!
This is Jio’s debut novel. I cannot wait to see what she writes next.
Profile Image for Christina.
114 reviews3 followers
October 9, 2012
Ever since I've discovered the joys of reading self-published works by multiple talented authors on Amazon, it is extremely rare that I purchase a book for more than $7.99. Having just finished "Blackberry Winter" by Sarah Jio, I was excited to read more of her novels. At the end of "Blackberry Winter," there were a couple chapters, a sneak preview, of "Violets of March." After reading a bit of it, I decided to venture onto Amazon and was a taken aback by the price - $12.99. Gulp! I hadn't paid that in a long time but I figured I would go for it as I had really enjoyed her other novel and was fond of her writing style. Needless to say, three very short hours later, I was infuriated and wanted my money back.

The mysterious character, Esther, revealed herself to be a thoroughly despicable and selfish character. Was I supposed to be happy for the woman who faked her own death because she was suffering from heartbreak, who not only placed an extremely disproportionate guilt trip on her lover and best friend? She was a hot-headed cavewoman, always quick to anger but too immature to search out a resolution. That poor woman who in the 1940s was engaged to what was apparently a very handsome man who had no qualms getting into debt so long as she wore this beautiful engagement ring. Man, what a tough life she had! Apparently, she loved Elliott so much but was so quick to assume the worst of him. Yep, that's real love there.

Was I supposed to feel compassion when she showed none to the daughter she had easily left behind, the daughter who grew up immensely insecure of her mother's love for her? I'm sure her daughter will feel loads better after she meets her half-sister who grew up loved by their mom. Yes, this will certainly draw Emily's mom out of the distance she had previously created between her and the island. Her mother loved her enough to leave her so easily. Ridiculous.

So Esther went on to visit the world - good for her because she was so stifled before! GTFOH. This book had me until the end as the story miserably attempted to wrap up a really fucked up ending with a nice shiny bow.

As for the relationship between Emily and Jack, the falling in love so quickly aspect was unbelievable. This woman just wasted seven years of her life with someone she thought she knew only to discover that he was unfaithful and left her for another. In what world would a woman that experienced that betrayal quickly fall into the arms of someone she just met? Oh, but this was needed to desperately demonstrate parallels between the main character and the grandmother who she coincidentally looks exactly like. Lets throw in the fact that of course Emily and Jack, the grandchildren of the story's ill-fated star crossed lovers, are meant to be. This makes up for everything.

Also, this whole charging $12.99 for a story that took so little time to read is abhorrent. Never again. I do not recommend this book on any level.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kathryn Bashaar.
Author 2 books91 followers
August 25, 2023
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, her husband ditches her, her best friend has to tell her to go away to heal, two handsome men just pop up in her life, a mysterious diary just pops up. Emily has very little agency; stuff just happens. She's pretty blah; apparently the only reason two eligible men fall in love with her is because she's beautiful. Convenient for her, but not very interesting. Uninteresting protagonists are a particular pitfall of this specific sub-genre of women's lit: the modern woman who trips on an old mystery that she must solve. Kate Morton's books are always about this, and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood has a similar theme. Inevitably, the modern woman is extremely boring and passive compared to the women of the era of The Mystery. If female writers want to be taken seriously, we have to start writing strong, active female characters, instead of characters who are essentially little girls whose fantasies magically come true with little effort on their part (see my review of The Mermaid Chair, which has possibly the most spoiled, whiny female protagonist in modern literature).
Profile Image for smetchie.
148 reviews97 followers
May 3, 2015
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 goddamned if I didn't read the whole thing and even stay up late with it. All the time knowing full well that the ending was gonna be stupid and sappy and the big reveal was never gonna be worth the time I spenT reading this crap.


BWAL: The Violets of Marc: Flower Arranging For The Modern Man
Profile Image for Afton Nelson.
931 reviews22 followers
December 2, 2011
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 friend who reveals early on that she has cancer, only 1 month or less to live, and hasn't revealed this fact to her best friend. Again, I've known people with cancer with only a month to live, and trust me, you can tell just by looking at them that they have cancer. We are told over and over how amazing and wonderful Aunt Bee is, but it was never shown by Bee's actions or dialogue. Most of the time Bee was refusing to speak or changing the subject to flowers or birds or something stupid like that.

The main character is beautiful, the love interest is the most handsome man ever (and she just finalized her divorce to the male model), but I never got a sense of it. I didn't care about the romance, I didn't feel it at all. And (Spoiler Alert) what, may I ask, was the point of Greg?

The plot is okay, which is what kept me reading. Well, that and the fact that I sort of enjoyed piling up my list of grievances. But the characters are a big disappointment.
Profile Image for Diana.
309 reviews21 followers
June 24, 2018
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 radar and I will be reading more of her work.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,744 reviews6,671 followers
December 29, 2015
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 include reconciliation, redemption, and the timelessness of love. While I don't think The Violets of March is Ms. Jio's best, I do think it is a beautiful debut and I would recommend it. Check it out!

My favorite quote:
“Great love endures time, heartache, and distance. And even when all seems lost, true love lives on.”

Note: I love it when an author shares the inspiration for their work. On Ms. Jio's website, she shares the story of how finding wild wood violets in her yard inspired this book's title. You can read the story by clicking HERE. In an online interview, Ms. Jio also notes the setting of Bainbridge Island is a very significant place to her in her real life. If interested, you can read more about the topic by clicking HERE.
Profile Image for Megan.
25 reviews3 followers
July 29, 2013
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 why the author wrote it that way. And yet somehow her Great Aunt Bee has heard about it from across the country, and Emily doesn't question how.

When she starts reading Esther's diary, it turns out that everyone who Emily actually knows now happens to go by a different name, so that she (and the reader) can't yet figure out who everyone is. That came across as a very contrived way of stretching out the mystery.

Everyone Emily talks to on the island seems to know the secrets she's trying to discover, but while they're all perfectly willing to talk about the fact of the secrets so as to make her curious, they refuse to tell her any details, until suddenly they're all perfectly happy to spill everything.

And why does Bee seems so uncomfortable around Henry anyway? Even once all the mysteries are clear, that's never truly explained. And Henry still being so sensitive to the events of 1943 as he is? Dude, get on with your life! And it's never explained why Bee keeps warning Emily away from Jack. I mean, I understand his relationship with the mystery, but that doesn't explain why Bee seems to dislike him so much, or really even why he was warned as a kid never to walk past her house like she was a witch or something. It's all so bizarre and unexplained!

I can't complain about anything else without giving away plot points, so I'll just say that while it was a quick enough read with some cute elements, overall it wasn't good enough to overcome its numerous flaws.
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,533 reviews9 followers
March 20, 2015
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 big reveal and then Emily suddenly is too afraid to press for more answers, repeatedly. I could have moved on to my next book much quicker if only she had spoken up and asked some pertinent questions once in awhile. Then suddenly she was the opposite and obsessed with finding answers.

Bainbridge Island sounds like a lovely place even in early March. I have my doubts, however, about tulips being in full bloom on the 9th of March as they were, and doubts that I would read this author again. The dialogue, overusage of the word heart (in my heart, my heart throbbed, etc. etc.) and descriptions of irrelevant minutia had me eye rolling more than once. The beginning dragged; the ending was tidy and rushed.
Profile Image for Jan.
203 reviews24 followers
March 27, 2013
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 fortune teller who told her “your words will have great importance for the future” and that she must write her story “before it is too late.”

But Emily must do the unraveling alone; her great-aunt Bee, Bee’s dear friend Evelyn, their neighbor Henry, and her own mother will not enlighten her although they all clearly know what happened way back when. It’s just too painful, but also, again for some unearthly reason, it must be Emily who brings the closure everyone has been waiting decades for.

To mix things up further, Emily has come to Bainbridge shortly after a painful divorce to be healed herself. She hasn’t visited the island for many years and finds the landscape, the sound, and the special memories to be soothing. But she’s barely off the ferry boat from Seattle when she is invited on dinner dates by two different men. No grass growing under her feet!

So now we have the convoluted story in the diary, with characters who are called by their own names or maybe their middle names or maybe by other names entirely so that by the end you hardly know who’s who. And we have Emily and her two budding romances, which apparently make her quickly forget her sorrow over her husband’s recent betrayal. We have “true” love gone awry because of misunderstandings and pigheadedness. We have unrequited love that lasts a lifetime. And we’re never clear why anyone loves anyone else in the first place; “she’s the most beautiful girl on the island” seems to be a favorite reason.

I asked myself why I read this entire novel -- right through the climax that beggars belief -- when it was so clearly not to my liking early on. It was a fast read, for one thing, and I was just curious whether it got any better. After all, it had been chosen as one of the top ten women’s fiction novels of 2011 by the eminent Library Journal. And that’s another mystery that could use unraveling.
Profile Image for Catherine.
15 reviews3 followers
March 3, 2013
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 she finds a mysterious diary, which everyone keeps telling her "it's meant for you to read it." They won't tell her why, though. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the diary is about Emily's family and their friends on the island ... but obtuse Emily doesn't figure it out, mainly because EVERYONE INVOLVED CHANGED THEIR NAME ... WTF?

Predictable and oh, so very, very trite.
Profile Image for Karen.
585 reviews21 followers
November 21, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews214 followers
October 31, 2011
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 in love with the island.

Emily says that she will stay for a month, and leaves New York City the day after her divorce is final. While staying in her Aunt Bee’s house, Emily reminisces on the countless summers she spent there as a young girl. She had been away from Bainbridge Island for ten years, because her husband never wanted to visit. Aunt Bee’s home is rather large with several rooms that Emily had never really been able to discover, as Aunt Bee kept them locked. This time, instead of having her usual room (the one she remembered from her childhood), she is placed in a room where she discovers a diary in the nightstand drawer. While Emily is reading the diary, she actually thinks it is her aunt’s writing of a fictional story, and not an actual diary from 1943. But Emily starts to uncover facts that support her thoughts that this might be an actual diary, and not a work of fiction. The story in the diary progresses as Emily is courted by two different men on the island…one from her past and another whom her Aunt Bee warns her against.

I have to admit that I had high hopes for this story, but had a difficult time with the flow of the language. It seemed rather stilted, especially the conversations. Everyone talked the same way, and Ms. Jio seemed to have a thing against contractions. I did enjoy the diary parts, as the language flowed a little more smoothly. Also, having been to Bainbridge Island, from the writing I did not get a very good sense of the island itself. The ferry ride was well-described, with the smells, but you didn’t have a sense of the people on the ferry… I always found that a great place to people watch.

I found myself confused quite frequently as to the relationship between some of the characters. Aunt Bee was very strict on who she socialized with, or with whom Emily should see. The characters in the diary were some of the same in ‘present day;’ however, the author changed every single name, so you had no sense of which person was who…and that made it a little difficult to piece the story between the past and the present. Ms. Jio had good intentions in making this a mystery, but having to have it all wrap up in the last fifty pages because the correct information was not given along the way, makes it a little difficult to accept. I had a hunch of what was going on, but it was so convoluted that I found myself flipping back and forth throughout the story, trying to piece it together…I stopped myself from making charts and diagrams, though.

Emily’s character was rather flat. I really had no empathy for her and I found myself wondering several times if the main character was based on her, as she was a writer and could only write a paragraph or two at a time. I sometimes wondered if Ms. Jio did the same thing, as there were several inconsistent facts throughout the story. The two different love interests of Emily were also rather shallow. The story really doesn’t go into why she chose one guy over the other. I sometimes wonder how books get published with seemingly little editing. Wouldn’t an editor ask for more detail or more emotion?

I did give this book 3 stars, as I found I was more invested in the diary portions of the story, and wanted to see how it tied together with the present story (which was still a little confusing when all was said and done). I wish I could have gotten to know the characters better, as I am sure they all had great stories to tell. However, I don’t know if I could recommend this book. I know that several others have fallen in love with this story…I am just not one of them.

Quote: “We’re two old women who haven’t had a date in several decades, Emily,” said Evelyn. “Give us a little nugget.”
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,922 reviews385 followers
April 3, 2020
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 inevitable stumbles in the couple's communication that could scuttle the whole relationship.

Its getting 3 stars from me because I approve of her use of library resources! 😁

Not a bad book, but not one which will stand out in my memory either. I'll take Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart's work over it any day.
Profile Image for Britany.
991 reviews434 followers
November 8, 2014
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 pull it together. I loved reading about the island and all of the wonderful characters, but the story just never fully developed for me. Nice, lighter beach read.

I do want to try more by this author though.
Profile Image for Nata Oleksandrivna.
65 reviews1 follower
April 1, 2023
Відразу хочу сказати, що поставила книзі найвищу оцінку 5, так як люблю твори Сари Джіо і не зважаючи на мої емоції, книга варта уваги ❤️
Я коли читала в кінці книги подяки від авторки, то зрозуміла таки, що ця книга була в неї першою, і можу вам чесно сказати - вона тут дала перцю добряче 🔥🔥
Як завжди маємо 2 паралельні лінії : головна героїня Емілі, відома письменниця з Нью-Йорка після розлучення з чоловіком ( який зрадив її ), за порадою подруги їде розвіятись на острів Бейнбридж до своєї двоюрідної бабусі Бі. Саме там день за днем вона поринає у історію з минулого : в кімнаті, яку Бі надає Емілі для проживання в її будинку, героїня знаходить в шухляді зошит-щоденник такої собі Естер, в якому та описує своє життя. З кожним днем Емілі все більше поринає в пригоди Естер, її подруг, і намагається розплутати історію життя жінки, адже при тому, що вона була одружена, вона продовжує кохати своє перше велике кохання - Еліота ❤️
Паралельно Емілі помічає, що її бабуся Бі по якійсь причині не спілкується з своїм сусідом Генрі, а також не дуже рада зустрічам Емілі з Джеком, який дивним чином захопив увагу Емілі в перший же день перебування на острові 😍😍 Ну і ще маю додати, що окрім Джека у Емілі буде ще один залицяльник - Греґ - її підліткове захоплення, саме з ним вона пропадала цілими днями, коли в юності гостювала у бабусі Бі.
Емілі приїхала полікувати власне серце на острові, можливо навіть надихнутися на написання нового бестселера, адже єдину, хоча і популярну книгу вона написала досить таки давно, після чого її Муза її покинула 🤧🤧
Героїня настільки поглинає в історію Естер, що якимось чином починає розуміти : як не крути, а ця історія має відношення до її родини, проте, тут головну героїню спіткає невдача - адже ні бабуся Бі, ні її подруга Евелін, ні сусід Генрі, та навіть її власна мати - ніхто не хоче розповісти хто така Естер, і що ж таке сталось в 1943 році. Всі як один відразу замовкають, уникають будь-яких відповідей і вперто стверджують - " ти мусиш дізнатись все сама" 😎😎
І Емілі таки по - трошки розплутує цей клубок таємниць, їй в цьому допомагає не лише зошит Естер, а й сам Еліот. 🥺🥺 Найважче було витягнути щось з бабусі Бі, проте, прийде день і вона таки наважиться поговорити з Емілі 🙌🙌
Що можу сказати про героюню з минулого - Естер? Чесно я досі зла на неї, емоції мене так і переповнюють : адже саме Естер накрутила такого в цій історії, що нажаль наслідки не дуже втішні були для всіх 🤧🤧 А останній вчинок, на який вона наважилась ( я до речі частково вгадала про такий варіант ), - як на мене це було дуже жорстоко по відношенню до її подруг, двох дітей, а найгірше - це було для Еліота 💔💔
Єдине, що мене втішило в цій історії, це те, що слава Богу Емілі все - таки зробила правильні висновки для себе, і можна сказати в деякій мірі виправила вже наслідки історії предків у своєму поколінні ❣️❣️
Як підсумок, я для себе винесла одне - єдине : не зважаючи ні на що, щоб там ваша яскрава жіноча фантазія не малювала в своїй уяві, треба все-таки давати іншій людині шанс пояснити ситуацію, принаймні дати шанс виговоритись, адже в майбутньому це може вберегти вас обох від купи помилок 🙌🙌 Звісно, що мова йде про ситуацію, коли між обома людьми є справжні почуття ❤️❤️
Раджу прочитати цю історію, не дивлячись на такі суперечливі емоції, які вона в мене викликала 😁
Гарантую : буде цікаво, емоційно і в якійсь мірі повчально 💋💋
Profile Image for Dem.
1,190 reviews1,131 followers
August 1, 2011
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 is a little predictable and unrealistic and I had expected something different from this book and therefore was a little disappointed.

However it is an easy read and while it did not have the wow factor it is a nice love story and I can see how readers views will differ on it as some will love it and others will find it ok, for me it needed a little more substance and that is why I rated it 3 stars.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,114 followers
March 20, 2016
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 people being thrown together at the right time. (I'm still chafing against the borders of genre conventions.)
Profile Image for vivya.
70 reviews11 followers
July 11, 2023
Such a beautiful story. It's my second book from Jio and she can create such heartwarming and nostalgic tales. Written perfectly and leaves you an emotional wreck. I needed a 5 star read so bad, something to get me out of a reading slump. Can't wait to read more from her.
July 11, 2018
Ξεκίνησα να διαβάζω τις "Βιολέτες του Μαρτίου" με κάποια προκατάληψη, γεγονός που οφείλεται κυρίως στο ότι η συγγραφέας του, Sarah Jio, είναι συντάκτρια του περιοδικού Glamour. Θα μου πείτε, τώρα, το σχέση έχει αυτό με την ποιότητα του βιβλίου. Θεωρητικά δεν έχει, αλλά επειδή η ποιότητα του περιοδικού είναι συγκεκριμένη και σίγουρα όχι η καλύτερη, δεν γινόταν παρά να μου προκαλέσει έναν κάποιο προβληματισμό για το τι θα συναντούσα. Κι όμως, η ανάγνωσή του αποδείχτηκε ιδιαίτερα ευχάριστη, και μου χάρισε πολύ όμορφες στιγμές, μιλώντας για τους οικογενειακούς δεσμούς, την δύναμη της συγχώρεσης, αλλά και των δεύτερων ευκαιριών που όλοι οι άνθρωποι έχουμε ανάγκη στη ζωή μας.

Στα τριάντα της χρόνια, η Έμιλι έχει ό,τι θα μπορούσε να λαχταρά κάθε γυναίκα. Το μυθιστόρημά της έχει κάνει τεράστια επιτυχία, ο γάμος της είναι υπέροχος, έχοντας στο πλευρό της έναν πανέμορφο άντρα που κάθε γυναίκα θα ήθελε να έχει δίπλα της. Δέκα χρόνια αργότερα, όμως, η ευτυχία αυτή μοιάζει να έχει καταρρεύσει. Η Έμιλι βρίσκεται αντιμέτωπη με το να πρέπει να διαχειριστεί το διαζύγιό της, αλλά και το συγγραφικό μπλοκάρισμα στο οποίο έχει πέσει. Όταν η θεία της την καλεί να περάσει μαζί της τον Μάρτιο στο σπίτι της στο Μπέινμπριτζ Άιλαντ, η Έμιλι δεν βρίσκει τον λόγο να αρνηθεί την πρόσκληση αυτή, ελπίζοντας βαθιά μέσα της πως θα καταφέρει να ξεπεράσει την κατάθλιψή της και να ξεκινήσει και πάλι από την αρχή. Όταν στα χέρια της θα βρεθεί, τυχαία, ένα κόκκινο βελούδινο ημερολόγιο από το 1943, κατά την διάρκεια της έρευνάς της για το νέο της βιβλίο, θα βρεθεί αντιμέτωπη με μια ιστορία που σχετίζεται άμεσα με τη δική της ζωή και που θα φέρει τα πάνω κάτω.

Το μεγαλύτερο προτέρημα του βιβλίου αυτού είναι το μυστήριο που κρύβει, αλλά και το πως αυτό εξελίσσεται. Είναι εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρον, για κάθε αναγνώστη, να διαβάζει μια ιστορία της οποίας τα κομμάτια πρέπει να ενώσει προκειμένου να φτάσει στην αλήθεια, με αυτήν να κρύβεται πολύ καλά και να μην αποκαλύπτεται παρά μονάχα όταν έχει φτάσει πραγματικά η ώρα να συμβεί αυτό. Η συγγραφέας έχει χειριστεί πολύ καλά την πλοκή της, ποτίζοντάς την με μικρές ανατροπές εδώ κι εκεί, χωρίς να καταφεύγει σε ακρότητες ή μη ρεαλιστικές εκδοχές και προοπτικές, δημιουργώντας ένα κλίμα αγωνίας και ανυπομονησίας να οδηγηθούμε στη λύση, το οποίο πολύ εύστροφα και αποδοτικά καταφέρνει να συντηρήσει από την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος.

Και πάμε στο μεγαλύτερο μειονέκτημα του βιβλίου που είναι οι χαρακτήρες του και κυρίως, η πρωταγωνίστριά του, η Έμιλι. Δεδομένου ότι πρόκειται για μια σύγχρονη γυναίκα που θα έπρεπε να έχει ένα δυναμικό προφίλ, παραείναι παθητική για να μπορέσουμε να την συμπαθήσουμε αληθινά και ουσιαστικά. Ίσως, αν τα πράγματα ήταν λίγο διαφορετικά, να μπορούσαμε να ταυτιστούμε μαζί της πιο εύκολα και να συμπάσχουμε με ειλικρίνεια για το δράμα της, κάτι που δεν θα έλεγα πως συμβαίνει. Βέβαια, επί της ουσίας, ο μεγάλος πρω��αγωνιστής του βιβλίου είναι το ίδιο το νησί, που κρύβει ιστορίες και μυστικά που περιμένουν ανυπόμονα να βγουν στο φως γιατί η αλήθεια έχει πάντα την ανάγκη να λάμψει και να φωτίσει τον κόσμο. Όσον αφορά την σύγκριση ανάμεσα στην σύγχρονη και στην παρελθοντική ιστορία, παρά τα κοινά τους σημεία, η δεύτερη είναι σαφέστατα πιο ενδιαφέρουσα και αυτό ίσως και να οφείλεται και στο γοητευτικό κλίμα της εποχής κατά την οποία διαδραματίζονται τα γεγονότα.

Σίγουρα, το "Οι βιολέτες του Μαρτίου", δεν είναι το βιβλίο εκείνο που μπορεί να σε συγκλονίσει, όμως, παρ' όλα ταύτα, έχει να αφηγηθεί μια όμορφη ιστορία που είναι πλημμυρισμένη από συναίσθημα, μυστήριο, εκπλήξεις και ανατροπές. Πολλά πράγματα θα μπορούσαν να είναι δεδομένα, όμως η συγγραφέας τα έχει χειριστεί με τέτοιον τρόπο ώστε να μην μπορούμε να γνωρίζουμε με βεβαιότητα ποια θα είναι η τελική έκβασή τους, παρά μονάχα όταν φτάσουμε στην τελευταία σελίδα. Το πάντρεμα του παρόντος και του παρελθόντος γίνεται με πολύ όμορφο και βαθιά συναισθηματικό τρόπο, και παρά τις κάποιες μικρές στιγμές σύγχυσης που σου δημιουργεί η ύπαρξη πολλών δευτερευόντων χαρακτήρων και η πληθώρα ονομάτων, η ανάγνωση του βιβλίου, συνολικά, αποδεικνύεται μια όμορφη και τρυφερή εμπειρία, που αγγίζει τις πιο ευαίσθητες χορδές μας.
Profile Image for Heather McKeon.
349 reviews1 follower
April 5, 2012
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 she used to go by that" and "he used to go by this." I just have a hard time believing that in a tight circle of friends so many of them started going by a different name. I can really only think of 1 person that I know that completely changed his name from going by his middle name to going by his 1st name as an adult. So the chances that 5 people in a small town would all start going by a new nickname or switching from 1st to middle or middle to 1st once they are adults is pretty ridiculous to me. And then I felt a little annoyed by the ending. Not the actual ending necessarily, but more how it all made me feel. I had gotten caught up in the mystery of this story and Esther, but the ending and Esther's actions just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I felt a bit cheated that the entire book I'm taken into Esther's world feeling drawn to her and hoping for the best for her, only to learn that she is basically just a silly and selfish person who made a pretty terrible decision with no regard for the feelings of the people she supposedly loved. I don't want to ruin the ending, so I'm trying to be vague - but I'd be interested to know what you think of it if you read it...
Profile Image for Anna.
1,133 reviews95 followers
April 27, 2012
What an intriguing story about love, family and friendship. It begins when Emily leaves New York to spend time with her Aunt Bea to heal from her divorce. There she discovers a diary of Ester, her deep love for Elliot and how her life changed when she felt that Elliot betrayed her trust. I love how the storyline interweaves Emily's life with that of Ester who we later learn is Emily's grandmother. Healing is found as those who felt they betrayed Ester years ago come to terms with how their actions changed events in all their lives, and find forgiveness for each other and themselves. Life comes full circle when Emily finds a forever love with Jack, Elliot's grandson. I love how the author unfolded the story a little at a time and paralled the life of Emily with that of Ester.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Seda.
553 reviews101 followers
January 21, 2018

📚“Aşk, zorla tomurcuk vermesini istediğin bir sera çiçeği değildi. Aşk, yol kenarında beklenmedik şekilde açan bir çiçekti.”

Adada ya da bir kasabada geçen, yaşayan herkesin birbirini uzun zamandır tanıdığı hikayelere bayılıyorum. Bu kitap da aynı böyleydi, bitirdiğimde biraz buruktum ama içim sıcacık olmuştu. Çok naif, bitmeyen bir aşk hikayesine, geçmişe gömülmüş sırlara ve yeni başlangıçlara tanıklık ettim okurken.

Kitabın başından sonuna kadar birçok kişiye ait sırlar, saklanan gerçekler vardı ortada. Bunların hem geçmişte hem günümüzde çözülmesini beklemek çok heyecanlı ve keyifliydi. Bu gizemli hava ilgiyi hep sıcak tuttu, kitabı elimden bırakmayı zorlaştırdı.

Sırlar çözelmeye başladığındaysa, geçmişle günümüz karakterleri arasındaki ilişki çok güzel bağlanmıştı. Bir yerde karakterlerinin kim olduklarını, birbirine bağlantılarını çözsem de kitap heyacanından hiçbir şey kaybetmedi. Kitabın içine yerleştirilmiş ufak tefek tesadüflere, sürprizlere ise bayıldım. Kaybolan Yıllar kitabıyla ve hastanede yaşanan son dakika sürprizi ile ilgili olanlar gözlerimi doldurdu. (Bu arada evet kitabı almak için araştırdım.🙈🙈 1930’da yayınlanan, Margaret Ayer Barnes’ın yazdığı, orjinal adı Years of Grace olan kitap dilimize çevrilmemiş 😔)

Esther’i ve hikayesini, günlüğündeki satırları o kadar çok sevdim ki daha fazla okumak istedim. Onun aşkı yanlış anlamalara, yanlış zamanda yanlış yerlerde olmanın üzücü sonuçlarına kurban gitmişti. Esther ve Elliot’ın aşkını okurken içim sızladı. Hep bir yere kadar gelmişler ama kapının eşiğinden dönmüşler gibi hissettim. İstemeden de olsa kimi zaman Esther, kimi zaman Elliot yüzünden engeller çıkmış karşılarına. Kırık bir aşk hikayesi olmuş onların aşkı, ölene kadar bitmeyeninden.

Emily ise çok güçlü bir karakterdi. Yaşadığı boşanma süreci sonrasındaki kararlı duruşu, Joel’in isteklerine boyun eğmemesi, bazen çelişkiler yaşasa da aslında ne istediğini bilmesi sağlam bir karakter olmasını sağlamıştı. Günlüğü bulmasının bir sebebi olmasına inanmasıyla ve olayları çözme kararlılığıyla kendine hayran bıraktı.

Mart Menekşeleri yazarın ilk kitabıymış, benim de yazardan okuduğum ilk kitaptı. Çok uzun zamandır kitaplığımda bekliyordu, okumam geç oldu ama tam zamanında oldu. Naif, sıcak, gerçek ama biraz buruk bir aşk hikayesi ve geçmişin izinden gitmeden filizlenen yeni bir aşk hikayesini birlikte okumak istiyorsanız tavsiye ederim. Yazar 2. kitabı yazmayı düşünüyormuş. Ben devamını da zevkle okurum.

📚Bee şaşkın görünüyordu. Bir yandan da yüzlerce yeşil yaprağın arasından fırlamış mor tomurcuklu lavanta rengindeki küçük çiçekleri inceliyordu. “Bunlar... nereden geldi?”
“Onları iki hafta önce fark ettim. Kendiliğinden çıkmışlar.”
Bee bana döndü ve açıklamaya başladı. “Bunlar orman menekşeleridir. Onları ne zamandır adada görmemiştim çünkü...”
“Çok ender rastlanan çiçeklerdir.” dedi Henry. “Tutmadıkların için onları kendin yetiştiremezsin. Bu çiçekler seni seçer sadece.”

📚”Sence en azından bir kez olsun karşılaşmamış mıyızdır?”
Jack gözlerime bakarak, “Hatırlamıyorsun, değil mi?” diye sordu.
“Neyi hatırlamıyor muyum?”
“On dört yaşlarındaydın ve... söylemem gerekirse çok da güzeldin. Orada, sahilde yanında başka bir kızla güneşleniyordun. Köpeğim Max de üzerine atlayıp yüzünü yalamıştı.”
“Aman Tanrım, o köpeğin yüzümü yaladığını hatırlıyorum. Seni hatırlıyorum, çok sıskaydın, dişlerinde tel vardı.”
“Evet, o bendim.”
Gülmeme engel olamadım.
“Çok mu komik? Ne yani sivilceli, uzun boylu, sıska, dişinde teller olan bir çocuğu çekici bulmadığını mı söylemeye çalışıyorsun?”
“Hayır, sadece şu an çok farklı görünüyorsun.”
“Farklı görünmüyorum, sivilcelerim dışında tabi. Sen de çok fazla değişmemişsin. Sadece tahmin ettiğimden çok daha fazla güzelleşmişsin.”

📚”Beni birçok hataya sevk eden bir aşkın düşüncesiyle baş başa bırakıyorum seni. Büyük aşklar zamana, kalp ağrısına ve mesafelere meydan okur. Her şey kaybedilmiş gibi görünse de gerçek aşklar yaşamaya devam eder. Bunu artık biliyorum ve umarım sen de anlarsın.”

📚Çantamı açtım ve yıllardır hissetmediğim bir kararlılıkla dizüstü bilgisayarımı çıkardım. Esther’in hikayesini nasıl bitireceğimi biliyordum artık. Bu hikayenin nasıl başladığını ve nasıl sonlandığını biliyordum. Kelimesi kelimesine...

Profile Image for Nikoleta Katsiouli.
131 reviews58 followers
November 19, 2015
Ενα από τα βιβλία που με εξέπληξαν πολύ ευχάριστα τον τελευταίο καιρό ήταν οι Βιολέτες του Μαρτίου της Σάρα Τζίο που κυκλοφορούν στη χώρα μας από τις εκδόσεις Ψυχογιός. Διαβάζοντας την υπόθεσή του στο οπισθόφυλλο θεώρησα ότι θα διαβάσω μία ανάλαφρη ιστορία μιας γυναίκας που ψάχνει τον εαυτό της και τη χαμένη ευτυχία της ένα θέμα ''τυποποιημένο'' και πολυχρησιμοποιημένο στη λογοτεχνία.

Η Τζίο όμως κατάφερε να ξεφύγει πέρα απ τα παγιωμένα κλισέ. Δίνοντας στην ιστορία της μυστήριο, σασπένς, μικρές αλλά απαραίτητες ανατροπές και μία ροή γεγονότων απολύτως ομαλή καταφέρνει να ξεδιπλώσει όλες τις πτυχές της υπόθεσης κρατώντας το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη αμείωτο μέχρι την τελευταία σελίδα. Σ΄αυτό βέβαια βοηθάει και το γεγονός ότι η συγγραφέας χειρίζεται άψογα τη γλώσσα και γενικά το ύφος της γραφής της είναι τέτοιο που όχι μόνο δεν κουράζει τον αναγνώστη αλλά τον αναζωογονεί με κάθε λέξη.

Έιναι άλλωστε πεπειραμένη
αρθρογράφος κι αυτό της δίνει τη δυνατότητα να γνωρίζει τί θελει να διαβάσει ο κόσμος χωρίς να υποβαθμίζει στο ελάχιστο αυτό που εκείνη θέλει να πει. Έιναι ριψοκίνδυνο να προσπαθήσει να μιλήσει κάποιος για την υπόθεση του βιβλίου. Το πιο πιθανό είναι να ''μαρτυρήσει'' κάτι ασήμαντο αλλά τέτοιο πράγμα δεν υπάρχει σ' ολόκληρο το μυθιστόρημα.

Όλα είναι εξίσου σημαντικά, όλα συνδέονται και δημιουργούν ένα ψηφιδωτό που όταν ολοκληρωθεί δίνεται μία ξεκάθαρη εικόνα του τι συνέβη πίσω στο 1943 και αποκαλύπτεται μπροστά μας μέσα από το κόκκινο ημερολόγιο που βρίσκει η πρωταγωνίστρια μας στο σπίτι της θείας της και του τι συμβαίνει στην τωρινή της ζωή η οποία μέσα σε μία δεκαετία φτάνει στα όρια της καταστροφής.

Κι εδώ η Τζίο κατά την άποψή μου κάνει κάτι αξιοσημείωτο. Δε διαλέγει για πρωταγωνίστρια μια γυναίκα που ακολουθεί τα στερεότυπα και τις επιταγές τις κοινωνίας μας. Δεν επιλέγει μια γυναίκα δυναμική, ανεξάρτητη, μια γυναίκα Σκάρλετ Ο' Χάρα που έχει πάρει τη ζωή της στα χέρια της. Επιλέγει μια ηρωίδα που δεν αισθάνεται υποχρεωμένη να είναι άφθαρτη, αλύγιστη, ανίκητη. Η ηρωίδα μας είναι καθ' όλα ανθρώπινη. Μια γυναίκα που διεκδικεί το δικαίωμα να λυγίσει υπό το βάρος των αλλαγών που ανέτρεψαν όλα της τα δεδομένα, το δικαίωμα να αφήσει τον εαυτό της να βιώσει ολοκληρωτικά το συναίσθημα του πόνου και της θλίψης αλλά και το δικαίωμα να απαιτήσει μια δεύτερη ευκαιρία να σταθεί στα πόδια της.

Μ' αύτον τον τρόπο κάνει τις αναγνώστριες της (γιατί είναι φανερό ότι απευθύνεται κυρίως, αν όχι αποκλειστ��κά, σε γυναικείο κοινό) να συνειδητοποιήσουν ότι ο καθένας από μας είμαστε πρωταγωνιστές στο μυθιστόρημα της δικής μας ζωής αφού δε χρειάζεται να έχουμε υπερδυνάμεις για να είμαστε εμείς οι ήρωες.

Κι αυτή είναι η πιο ευχάριστη αίσθηση που μπορεί να σου αφήσει ένα βιβλίο...
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews929 followers
November 15, 2015
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 Bee on Bainbridge Island in Washington State to try to get her life under control and to start researching her next book. While there, she discovers a red velvet diary dated 1943 written by an unknown individual. The story written in the diary has her intrigued and she doesn't even realize that the story actually involves her and a decades old family mystery.

I couldn't put this book down, it had me from the very beginning. The writing was flawless and the characters were described beautifully. After reading this I immediately went to try to find more of this author's work-had no idea this was her debut novel! Highly recommended and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more by Sarah Jio.

Profile Image for Karen Hogan.
866 reviews34 followers
December 31, 2019
I often read 3 to 4 books at a time. I know I have a good read when I start reading one book solely. Even more unusual, is when I finish a book in one day. A young newly divorced writer from the big Apple, returns to her childhood vacation home of her great Aunt Bee, on Bainbridge Island near Seattle. She goes there to heal, but instead uncovers her family's big secret. Part mystery, part love story, this book will keep you turning the page. This is the author's , Sarah Jio's, first book, which is impressive. Will definitely read some of her more recent works.
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