Review: The Bungalow by Sarah Jio

  • Paperback:320 pages
  • Publisher:Plume; 1 edition (December 27, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0452297672
  • Source: Publisher

The summer of 1942, young Anne Calloway sets off to the Pacific island of Bora-Bora to serve as a nurse for the Army Nurse Corps.  She’s engaged to get married; this venture is her last bit of adventure before becoming a married woman.  She goes to Bora-Bora with her best friend, Kitty, a flirtatious, free-spirited young woman.

Once they reach Bora-Bora, an island full of military men who haven’t seen women in ages, it doesn’t take Kitty long to find a few potential love interests.  Anne, still questioning her engagement, yet also feeling guilt for “abandoning” her fiance to embark on this adventure, soon forges a friendship with a soldier named Westry. They find solace in one another at an abandoned bungalow, leaving notes to one another using fictitious names. Soon, their friendship blooms into something much more.  A horrible murder & the ravages of war threaten their budding romance.

The reader “meets” Anne decades later, an elderly woman now.  As she ages, she can’t help but look back upon this time spent in Bora-Bora, wondering “what if.” She’s taken back in time when she receives communication from the island that forever changed her.

Spanning not only time but location, The Bungalow is a breathtakingly beautiful look at undying, endearing, true love. Those that know me well know that I’m not really a fan of love stories, yet for some reason the power of Jio’s writing envelopes me, takes me away to a completely different time and place. She did so with The Violets of March and succeeded and doing it again with The Bungalow.  The love that is shared between Anne & Westry is a genuine one, not over the top or forced. The setting, despite taking place in the midst of World War II, is a beautiful one. It adds to the romance shared between these to young individuals.

Bottom line: The Bungalow is a book that will completely engage you; don’t be surprised if it forces to be read in one sitting. It’s a story of love in the midst of death, love that continues despite the passing of time. Highly recommended!

8 Comments to "Review: The Bungalow by Sarah Jio"

  1. Leeswammes (Judith)'s Gravatar Leeswammes (Judith)
    Twitter: leeswammes
    December 21, 2011 - 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Sounds great! I think I won this book in the Thankfully Reading Weekend (you didn’t confirm). If so, I’m really looking forward to it, sounds like a book I will enjoy a lot.

  2. Meg @ A Bookish Affair's Gravatar Meg @ A Bookish Affair
    Twitter: abookishaffair
    December 21, 2011 - 9:41 AM | Permalink

    I’m anxious to read this one!

  3. Lori Strongin's Gravatar Lori Strongin
    Twitter: LStrongin
    December 21, 2011 - 10:42 AM | Permalink

    A guy I work with was stationed in Bora Bora (not during WWII, but later on a Peace Corps assignment) and I always love listening to his stories about the people there and life in the villages. Does Jio bring a lot of the culture of Polynesia into the book, too?


  4. Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick's Gravatar Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick
    Twitter: coffeebookchick
    December 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Well, this book is definitely a surprise to see on your site, so now I’m really interested! I have heard a bit of buzz regarding this book, but never thought it would be my “type” of book, either. I’m intrigued by the murder that happens; looking at the cover, I never would have expected that. I’m going to have to take a look at this when it’s released on 12/27! (Why are books released after Xmas? You’d think they’d want to nab that gift-buying crowd!). I’m looking forward to taking a peek at this book, thanks for putting this on the radar!

  5. bermudaonion (Kathy)'s Gravatar bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    December 21, 2011 - 4:56 PM | Permalink

    I don’t enjoy romances, but I like a good love story. This sounds like a wonderful book.

  6. Marg's Gravatar Marg
    Twitter: Margreads
    December 21, 2011 - 6:46 PM | Permalink

    This is one book that I am really looking forward to reading!

  7. Becky's Gravatar Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune
    December 23, 2011 - 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Oh, I’ve got this one in my TBR. I saw it at the trade show and thought it sounded fantastic. Yours is the first review I’ve come across.

  8. January 2, 2012 - 8:51 AM | Permalink

    I am reading Violets in March right now. I picked it up yesterday and read the first half straight through. I would have read the whole thing if I didn’t have to feed the family and animals. I am excited to read more from Sarah Jio! I love these types of stories!

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