Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily’s good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.
Overall Rating: Worth Checking Out
Cover Appeal (because, let’s face it, we all know we judge books by their covers)
I love Sarah’s covers! LOVE THEM!! My absolute favorite cover is Blackberry Winter – but this one is so lovely too! The old chair, the book, the violet… I love simplicity – and this just works so well with the story!
Willingness to Put Down
Truth be told – I want to take my time with this book. Plus, there is so much going on – that if you read it as quickly as I typically read books – I would have been even more confused than I was!!
I did love this story though. And I kept trying to see if I could figure out who all the people from the diary were. I had so many different ideas. I’d think one thing, then read a little more and have to change my guess.
My brain hurt after trying to guess so much!! Eventually I just decided I needed to give the guessing a rest and just enjoy the book – and see where it goes.
But it is a very gripping story – and if you love mysteries and stories about the past – it’ll be a hard one to put down.
I love stories that mix the past and present. Aside from this book – the only other book of Sarah’s I’ve read is Blackberry Winter – and I love that story too. I also love Kate Morton’s books (same plot lines of present day characters trying to find out a mystery from the past).
This story gripped me from the beginning. Emily was broken and defeated and went off to her great aunt’s house on an island near Seattle. There she discovers a diary – and makes it her mission to find out the truth behind it. All the while, she starts to heal from her divorce. Oh… and she meets Jack – who is probably very much her soul mate.
The story had me guessing. For whatever reason, when I read books like this, I have to figure out what is going on before I am told. So, my brain goes at 1,000 miles a minute to try to figure out what is going on. I had different theories – then different ones when those didn’t pan out… and finally, I just gave up – and decided to enjoy the story without causing myself to go crazy with theories.
Now, I must say, I kind of felt this story ended with a few things left unresolved. I could have done with another few chapters to tie up all the loose ends. I just felt like maybe Emily’s mom deserved some closure – and with the way the book ended, you find out…. things… that I’m sure her mom would want to know.
Heart Fluttering/School Girl Giggling/Tears
One part that I know for certain my heart fluttered (because I was totally caught off guard, and needed to read the paragraph three times)… was when Jack called Emily after she returned to New York. And what he said at the end of the voice message. Sigh…. that was so freaking sweet!!
Leading Man’s Boyfriend Potential (if acceptable)
I guess we’ll call Jack the leading man – thought Elliot had a good part for the 1940s…. But talking about Elliot makes me think like I’m talking about my grandpa – and that is just a little strange.
So… Jack. Sweet, caring, passionate, intense, charming… Jack. He’s a good guy.
Emily has an overactive imagination – and thinks things that aren’t true with Jack.. which she probably should have discussed with him before she took off running…. but thus is the story. But Jack doesn’t give up – and that voice message he leaves her while she’s in New York…. sigh… so sweet.
Favorite Scene (without giving anything away… just to get you to really want to read)
The ending… with Elliot and the blue scarf. I teared up.. it was so sweet!
“If summer had a flavor, it was pink bubble gum.”
“It’s like I’m trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle, and everyone is hiding the pieces from me.”
“Great love endures time, heartache, and distance. And even when all seems lost, true love lives on.”