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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MAGICAL ISLAND, SECRETS, & BETRAYALS -- A REVIEW

Our story opens in the current day, with an elderly woman named Anne sharing some time with her granddaughter Jennifer. But then Anne discovers a letter...something that catapults her back in time, to 1942, and her year on a South Pacific Island during WWII.

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.

26 comments:

  1. I want ot read this book so badly - love the cover and the promise of a good historical, romantic suspence. Enjoyed your review.

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  2. Oh, I know you'll love it! Thanks for stopping by, Harvee...I couldn't wait to read it, and I was SOOOO thrilled with it.

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  3. I loved The Violets of March so I am sure to love this book as well! I am pretty sure I have never read a book set in Bora Bora! I am really looking forward to reading it.

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  4. I absolutely loved it, of course; bet you couldn't tell! lol

    Thanks for stopping by, Beth. I'm excited that the author has another book coming out by the year's end called Blackberry Winter...also with a gorgeous cover.

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  5. You've written another lovely and inspiring review, Laurel. I love it when you recommend a book because I know it's means it's a great read. Thank you.

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  6. I plan to read this book! Loved Violets of March.

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  7. Thanks, Joylene...I really enjoyed the book. When a book grabs me, I don't get much else done...lol

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  8. Thanks for stopping by, Nise. I am looking forward to her next book, too, coming at the end of the year.

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  9. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila...I loved this book!

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  10. This has been a popular book around the blogs lately. Great review.

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  11. Thanks, Shelleyrae...I loved it, and can't wait for the next one.

    Glad you could stop by.

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  12. Thanks, Sheila...hope you enjoy it, too. Glad you could stop by today.

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  13. I love stories with a slow build up -- really makes me savor the story all that much more.

    Great review!

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  14. Oh, I agree, Kim. I'm all for savoring my reads! Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. Meg, I'm sure you're going to love it! Thanks for stopping by....

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  16. I'm so glad you loved this because now I really want to read it! Your review was very enticing.

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  17. Thanks, Laura...hope you enjoy it, too! Truly a wonderful story in a glorious setting.

    Glad you stopped by.

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  18. I did love the Violets of March, so I'm sure I'd love this one too. Thanks Laurel

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  19. Oh, I think you will, Irene. And her next book, Blackberry Winter, is now coming in September instead of November. Can't wait!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  20. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I love historical fiction!

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  21. Me too, Meg, especially if it's not in the too distant past. WWII drama appeals to me.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. I really enjoyed it, Kathy. Hope you do, too.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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