We are there with her then, as she tells the story in the first person narrative. Uncertain of the future she has chosen for herself with her fiancé Gerard, she decides to join a group of Army nurses in Bora Bora. She accompanies her lifelong friend Kitty.
At first the story unfolds slowly and gradually, which is perfect, since it gives the reader the opportunity to really see the setting, incorporate the many experiences, and understand the numerous layers to the characters.
At the heart of this story is an old bungalow—more of a hut, actually—but a budding romance begins here and soon is the key theme. It becomes the centerpiece for something truly magical, and some secrets shared here are the kinds that stay with the characters for the rest of their lives. Additionally, there is nothing like being in the midst of a war zone to accentuate vulnerabilities and remind people of potential losses. Some real losses add up in the following pages.
What defining moments toward the end of Anne's stay on the Island will inform the rest of her life? What does Kitty do to sever the bond between them? And how does a violent act feel like another kind of betrayal?
As The Bungalow: A Novel drew to a close, I was rapidly turning pages as the final keys to the puzzle began to fall into place. Not all secrets were revealed...some puzzling elements left the reader wondering. But these details only added to the somewhat surreal experiences shared by the characters. Absolutely wonderful and a definite five star read for me. Recommended for those who loved Jio's first book, The Violets of March: A Novel, as well as anyone who enjoys a good mystical setting and a bit of romantic suspense.