Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Bungalow by Sarah Jio

I loved Sarah's first novel, Violets of March so I've been eagerly awaiting her follow up novel The Bungalow.  Lucky for me, I managed to get an ARC from Netgalley.  

The Bungalow is about two friends, Anne and Kitty.  It's 1942, they've both just finished nursing school, and live in Seattle, waiting for life to happen.  Anne is engaged to Gerard, a wealthy young man that Anne's know all her life, and loves, but not in that all encompassing passionate way we all hope to find.  She's content to marry him, but feels like she's missing out on life.  Kitty decides to sign up for a nursing position on a military base in Bora Bora, and convinces Anne to come, too.  Anne postpones her wedding, and  soon both are on Bora Bora, surrounded by soldiers waiting for action in the Pacific to accelerate.  

Kitty's transformation once she gets off the plane was a bit startling to me.  She immediately becomes a "man hungry" party girl, only interested in having a good time when she's not on nursing duty.  Soon her behavior starts to alienate Anne, who's struggling to find her place on the island, and wondering if she made a mistake.  Enter Westry, a soldier stationed on the island.  Soon Anne and Westry form a friendship tinged with attraction, and find an abandoned bungalow in the jungle that the natives feel is cursed.  Anne and Westry's attraction builds, and the bungalow becomes their meeting place.  Meanwhile, someone on the island is causing trouble, and soon a murder takes place right in front of Anne.  Westry convinces Anne to keep it quiet but won't tell her why.  

This story is told from Anne's memories as a woman in her 80's.  A letter brings back those days on Bora Bora, and she tells her granddaughter about what happened.  But what did happen?  Where's Westry and Kitty after all this time?  

I enjoyed this novel.  The mystery wasn't much of a mystery--it's easy to figure out.  But I did like Anne, and her story about living on Bora Bora, and all the heartache that followed. It's a novel about living with regret, making choices, and friendship.  If you can't get away to a tropical island anytime soon, grab The Bungalow and imagine yourself on Bora Bora.  

It's available at the end of December in paperback and ebook format.  


  1. Hi sweet Sue....thanks for this brief synopsis of your current read. BTW.....completely non related to your post....I see you have changed your blog background....it is so very clever...but for me, it is a little hard to read. Perhaps it is because of these old eyes. LOL LOL



  2. I have no idea what happened to my background--went back to the blog template and reloaded it and now it looks normal again! Sorry folks!

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