About the book: A sweeping saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting....In the summer of 1942, twenyt-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 fiance, 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.First thoughts after finishing this book: "Wow, she did it again! I loved these people and their story!"
Sarah Jio is a very talented and gifted author. All too often the sophomore debut of an author can be a letdown and not show as much promise as the dazzling debut novel. That is NOT the case here, folks. Sarah wrote another home run read for me and my experience was once again off the charts. She has the gift for writing characters that absolutely ring authentic and touched me on a human level. I loved getting to read about the nurses' side of World War II. Too often books are all about the wars and the men who fought them, but this novel gives the reader a glimpse into what may have inspired a young woman to sign up for nursing duty out in the Pacific Ocean. I loved her complex characters that at first glance may seem come across as very simplistic, but if you peel away that outer glossy coat, the reader was able to see into their hearts.
Recommend? Absolutely, with no hesitation. I couldn't put this story down and finished it over the course of two days. I'm a sucker for a book that starts off with someone finding a long lost letter....you just never know where it will take you!
This book would be an excellent Christmas gift for someone who loves historical fiction that encompasses WWII and the present day.
Author: Sarah Jio
Source: review copy from Penguin/Plume via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: December 27, 2011
Disclaimer:Thank you to Sarah Jio, Penguin/Plume and NetGalley for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.
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