Skip to main content


Literary Friday: The Bungalow

Friday, July 20, 2012


During our road trip I read The Bungalow by Sarah Jio.  Recently I read another of Jio's books, The Violets of March.  You can read my post about it here.

I think that The Bungalow might be the most perfect beach read.  Ever.  The setting is the island paradise of Bora-Bora during World War II.  Twenty-one year old Anne Calloway is a college nursing graduate, and has recently become engaged.  Uncertainty over her impending nuptials convinces Anne to join the Army Nurse Corps, and she is sent to the Pacific with her best friend, Kitty.  Anne develops a crush on a handsome and enigmatic soldier named Westry, and they soon begin having a love affair.

One evening while walking on the beach, Westry and Anne discover an abandoned bungalow. They clean it up and start meeting there, and they even leave love notes for each under beneath a loose floorboard.  The island's natives claim that the bungalow is cursed, and that anyone entering its door will live a life of heartbreak.  Westry and Anne ignore these warnings, and soon learn that the bungalow has an artistic past.  They discover an unsigned painting underneath the bed, and it looks like it was painted in the same post-Impressionist style of Paul Gauguin.  An older native reveals that Gauguin did indeed live for a time in the bungalow, and she reiterated the bungalow's curse.

Westry is sent on a mission to Guadalcanal, and he survives.  But before he is redeployed to France, Westry and Anne witness a brutal crime on the beach near the bungalow.  This tragedy along with its aftermath kept me up very late at night reading.  Another mystery involving art and an investigation by Anne's granddaughter in the present might be a link to solving what happened on that beach so many decades ago.  This book is beautifully written, and it truly takes you away to Bora-Bora during the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

If you want more information about The Bungalow, watch this book trailer. There are a few more spoilers in it than in my review.

What have you been reading this summer?  Please post and link-up!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. This sounds so good. I just might get it for my mom...she reads all the time. Thanks for the review. Very well written.

  2. I love the sound of this one. I'll have to add it to my list. I just finished reading The Mermaid Garden, which I thought was pretty good.

  3. sound interesting might have to read next

  4. I NEED this book! heehee! I have been on a mystery kick and I'm reading some of Nancy Atherton books about Aunt Dimity...I'm reading Aunt D. goes West right now! It's FUN!

  5. I have not yet heard of this read....thanks for sharing...

    I'm still working on my Jane Eyre here...fitting it in between all the creating and renovating I'm always up to! I've been loving the house much colour, but it's all done in such an interesting way! Would be a fabulous place to visit!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  6. SOLD! I'm ordering this book today~ I was already intrigued after reading VOM! Thanks for your review, I'm looking forward to some reading time next week :)

  7. Hi Ricki! Thank you for hosting again :) I'll include this book on my future reads. Have a great day!

  8. That sounds really touching and sad, but also compelling. I'm glad you're enjoying it. :D

  9. I love books about WW's set in areas that wern't taught in classes. Plus a love story, this book has it all! I am going to add it to my Wish List. Guess I need to schedule a trip to the beach and read it there :)

    Thanks for hosting and thanks for the wonderful reveiw. I love being introduced to new books.



Comments are friendly!


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.

Follow me on Instagram