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The Bungalowby Sarah Jio
Synopses & Reviews
In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels--The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter--taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon--Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time.
Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator's.
Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 "blackberry winter" storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways...
"Jio's second novel (after The Violets of March) is a saccharine romance framed around WWII and the Tahitian island of Bora-Bora. A letter found by her grandchild in the trash spurs Anne Calloway Godfrey of Seattle to recount a wartime romance and the dissolution of a childhood friendship. Conflicted about her impending nuptials to Gerard Godfrey, the young Anne and her best friend Kitty enlist as nurses for the war effort. But once Anne reaches the beautiful island of Bora-Bora, she finds the other nurses, including Kitty, disappointingly man hungry. While Kitty becomes entangled in a dangerous romance with one soldier, Anne is drawn to another, Westry Green, an officer, due to a shared interest in a nearby deserted bungalow, considered cursed by the native Tahitians. Though the bungalow becomes the site of Anne and Westry's romantic rendezvous, Anne's cloying, self-righteous attitude, obnoxious behavior, and naÃ¯ve mistakes in dealing with Westry make it hard for readers to buy their relationship. Meanwhile Kitty's romantic entanglements harden her and ruin her relationship with Anne. Jio attempts to deepen her story with the addition of a murder mystery but an overwhelming profusion of deadening wartime clichÃ©s makes for a dull, frustrating read." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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, 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.
From acclaimed novelist Sarah Jio (The Bungalow, The Violets of March) a new “mystery-slash-love story [that] will have you racing to the end”
Seattle, 1933. Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and reluctantly leaves for work. She hates the nightshift, but it’s the only way she can earn enough to keep destitution at bay. In the morning—even though it’s the second of May—a heavy snow is falling. Vera rushes to wake Daniel, but his bed is empty. His teddy bear lies outside in the snow.
Seattle, present day. On the second of May, Seattle Times reporter, Claire Hanson, awakens to another late-season snowstorm. Assigned to cover this “blackberry winter” and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel’s unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth—only to discover that she and Vera are linked in unexpected ways.
About the Author
Sarah Jio is the author of The Violets of March and Blackberry Winter. She is also the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com, and her articles have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple, among other publications. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three children.
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