Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

I probably should have left then-or maybe I should have run and called the police on my cell phone just as soon as I was safe on the street. I wondered how I would have sounded on the phone with the 911 dispatcher: “Hi, I’m calling to report the murder of my grandmother-in 1943.”

Emily Wilson had it all. She was a young, beautiful, published author, married to a dark and handsome man, but, appearances are most often, deceiving. In one day, her life gets turned upside down and inside out when she finds out her husband has been having an affair. With the divorce final, and her life in turmoil, Emily decides to lick her wounds on Bainbridge Island, and maybe write another novel, at her quirky, but lovable and wise, Aunt Bee’s house.

Emily finds an old diary in the drawer of the nightstand of the room she’s staying in, and finds herself immersed in a twisted and strange plot between a woman named Esther and her soul mate, Elliot. When the diary abruptly ends, Emily feels a burning need to find and finish the story of Esther’s tumultuous life. Questioning her Aunt Bee about the mysterious and beautiful Esther provides little more than added confusion, her questions carefully avoided, the subject, when broached, quickly changed. Eager to get to the bottom of the mystery, one that seems to echo her own life, Emily begins researching the lives of the inhabitants of Bainbridge Island.

What starts off as a anonymous diary, about a strange woman, abruptly becomes very personal, as Emily uncovers more and more details about that fateful time and the people inovled. She also discovers there is much more to the Island’s inhabitants than they are letting on. When a handsome young artist offers his help, the mystery deepens, especially when his Father’s mantle boasts the same photograph of a woman on a beach that her Aunt Bee does.

Sarah Jio intertwines past and present in The Violets of March, seamlessly. A delicious, devious, twisted tale of love, found and lost, passion, jealousy and potential murder fused perfectly with one woman’s journey to reclaim herself. Sweet, tender, sharp and expertly written, The Violets of March is the perfect rainy day, under a goose down comforter, three cups of tea, novel. It’s heartbeat is true and strong, and Sarah Jio delivers a poignant tale that will linger long on the mind after finished.

Rating: 4/5

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & co-leader of the Cape Cod Community Angels, a non-profit organization for young girls involved in volunteering in their Community.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Plume. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.