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Literary Friday: The Violets of March

Friday, May 11, 2012


This week I read The Violets of March by Sarah Jio.  Little did I know it would be the perfect book for Mother's Day!

This book centers around a twenty something Emily Wilson.  She has won life's trifecta: she is a New York Time's bestselling author, she is married to a successful man who could moonlight as a GQ model, and she is living in New York City.  Life.  Is.  Good.....until her husbands leaves her for another woman.

Devastated, Emily wants to visit her Great Aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island near Seattle.  She spent many happy summers there growing up, and it has always felt like home.  Seeking comfort, Emily returns to Bee's beach house at the beginning of March.  Her goal is to heal her heart and to start writing again.

Bee puts Emily in a guest room that is unfamiliar to her and was aways locked when she was a child.  She finds an old red velvet diary in the nightstand, and she begins reading the story inside.  The story is about love, betrayal, and heartbreak.  The more Emily reads she realizes that the story, which occurred during the nineteen forties, parallels her own life.  The names are unfamiliar yet there is something familiar about the story.   I absolutely love the way Jio has two stories within the same family that parallel each other in an almost supernatural way.  Emily's character is slowly developed as she uncovers family secrets, solves a mystery, and learns to trust in love again.  This book is also about relationships between mothers and daughters and how they dramatically impact who we become as women.

Emily does become romantically involved with not one but two men on the island, and I was uncertain where the story was headed.  The ending is very satisfying, and when both stories intersect it will bring tears to your eyes! Bainbridge Island has a legend about wild violets that (rarely) appear in March.  These violets cannot be cultivated, and the legend states that wherever these violets appear they are meant to heal a past hurt.  What a concept.  I think we could all use some violets of March from time to time.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. This may sound silly and possibly really absurd, but when I picked it up at the library, the book cover was so off-putting that I put it down. It had a pansy instead of a violet. I'm almost embarrassed to confess it. Maybe I'll get it next visit. Funny how something so inane can affect a choice.

  2. I've been looking for something good to read and this book sounds like it'll hit the spot. Thanks for the recommendation! Michelle

  3. Oh, this looks really good and intriguing. This is why I love reading your blog and discovering new things to put on the "to read" list.

  4. Sounds like a good read. I need something new. I've been struggling through Henry James' "The Golden Bowl" for weeks!

  5. This book sound great. Will definitely go on my long list of reads.

  6. Thanks- this sounds lovely. And the fact that it takes place at a town near me makes me happy. I definitely need to read this one and pass it to my mom. :D


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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