Customer Reviews for

The Violets of March: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

This is a treasure!

The Violets of March is a delightful intricate family saga about secrets that join the past with the present. Emily, the main protagonist, is a best-selling author who is suffering from writer's block after her husband leaves her (for the usual reason) after ten years. ...
The Violets of March is a delightful intricate family saga about secrets that join the past with the present. Emily, the main protagonist, is a best-selling author who is suffering from writer's block after her husband leaves her (for the usual reason) after ten years. Emily escapes from New York City and takes refuge for a while with her eccentric Great Aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island in Washington. While doing research for her new book she comes across an old diary written by a woman named Esther in 1943. Things aren't the way they seem and there are many dark secrets to be found out. The truth behind Esther's tragic disappearance will keep you guessing until the very end. But it's so worth the suspense until then. The mystery slowly unravels as relationships expand, especially that of a former teenage involvement who still lives on the Island and a handsome painter who is a mystery unto himself. There's unexpected romance and as secrets are revealed Emily's world is turned upside down as she discovers her real self. This is a treasure!

posted by angeleyesAS on June 15, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Interesting story that you will have a hard time putting down. You want to find out the whole story however sometimes the writing annoyed me. I didnt like how the old and new were so similar sometimes. It felt like too much for me.

posted by 9772613 on February 7, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Interesting story that you will have a hard time putting down. You want to find out the whole story however sometimes the writing annoyed me. I didnt like how the old and new were so similar sometimes. It felt like too much for me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Good Family Mystery

    This book had much appeal, as the protagonist became enmeshed in a long hidden family history, and I like that sort of thing. The writing was good, but not great. I did enjoy the story and obviously it held my attention. One thing that hooked me from the start is that it takes place on an island off the coast of Seattle, which I may be visiting this summer…so of course I was very interested in that aspect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Sweet Story

    Has a nice ending.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    A Good Read.

    As much as I hate to say it ...this was what I would call a typical Chic-book. The main character gets a divorce and goes to an Island off the coast of Seatle to recover and find herself. I found it somewhat predictable and some parts were kind of far-fetched and could have been written better. But...all in all I did find this book enjoyable. A good easy read.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    A novel of missed chances, lost love, and family secrets.

    Violets of March is a novel of missed chances, lost love, and family secrets. When Emily Wilson's husband announces he is leaving her for another woman she is finally forced to admit that her perfect life is falling apart. Once a bestselling author, she now has writer's block. She escapes to Bainbridge Island to lick her wounds and rekindle a relationship with her great aunt Bee. There she finds mystery and intrigue in the form of an old diary filled with secrets, a handsome neighbor, and her secretive aunt.

    While its true that stories like Violets of March have been told a thousand times, that is because the idea of love and mystery sweeping a lost and lonely woman up is so appealing. Unfortunately this time the plot leans too heavily on chance and miscommuniction to provide much satisfaction. The broken love affair told in the diary just frustrates the reader and makes little sense. If two people really loved each other that much would they allow such minor misunderstandings to stand in their way? Wouldn't they fight for each other? To see Emily begin to travel the same road just compounds the frustration until you are yelling at the book and wanting nothing more than to give the characters a good shaking! The setting is lovely and the slightly quirky townspeople are fun, but that couldn't make up for the weak plot.

    I listened to The Violets of March, narrated by Lyssa Browne. She has an appealingly girlish style that suits Emily's voice well.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Okay but not my type of story!

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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