In this debut novel from Sarah Jio I see such wonderful things to come. I’ve had this book for a few months, and while I wanted to read it,but I had to find the right time, and oh my goodness when I did, I was so sorry for waiting. I must confess I fell in love with the author, Sarah, on twitter and facebook. She is a wonderfully open and honest woman with such a gift, I cannot wait to read everything she writes.
Emily is mourning the death of her marriage, and feeling as if she may never write anything of substance again. Her best seller is over 10 years old, and fans have stopped asking about her next work. Worse still when she considers that best seller she isn’t so happy with it, and doesn’t want to be remembered for it alone. When Emily is contacted my her Great Aunt Bee who lives on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, she is happy to accept her invitation to get away and recharge at a place where her memories are sweet.
Emily feels relaxed and happy to back on the island where she spent many summers exploring in her youth. She eagerly adapts to the shore and begins to meet new people, and then one day she finds a new treasure. She discovers a worn, red velvet diary in a nightstand drawer of her bedroom. The diary is written by a woman she doesn’t know, but the landmarks and friendships seem to be a window into a past Emily needs to learn more of on her beloved Bainbridge Island. The story of Esther and Elliot will be only the beginning.
As a reader I was taken back to the early 1940’s to young love and betrayal. The story is about the past and the present in the journey Emily must take for herself, to know herself better.
I felt such heartache and tenderness for the people in this book. We meet Emily’s wonderful Aunt Bee, a woman who just reminds you of your own favorite Aunt, maybe better, one who will cook for you, and drink with you. Bee has her own dear friend Evelyn, and then there are the men. Emily’s former teen heartthrob Greg, and a new mysterious man Jack, and an old gentleman she instantly admires, Henry. The personal details of each person, and their emotions were so well done. The descriptions of Bainbridge Island had me wanting to run away and see this lovely place. I have no doubt I will someday make that journey myself. I have already shared this book with two of my closest friends, knowing they will enjoy it as much as I have. I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Please visit Sarah Jio’s website to learn more about her next novel, The Bungalow, which will be available December 27, a great way to spend any gift cards and cash you may receive for the holidays.