Publication Date: December 27th 2011
Book Source: Penguin/Plume & NetGalley
Synopsis: A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.
In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.
A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years.
I'm sending a big i
t's all her fault letter thank you to Staci from Life in the Thumb for her glowing review that had me scouring NetGalley for The Bungalow. Luckily for me it was still available and on turning the last page on this book my verdict: Enchanting!!
Sarah Jio made me care about the characters, they felt real, so much so that Anne & Westry made my heart leap, then sink, then leap, then sink ... I had my hopes pinned on a HEA for them but at the same time I cringed over Anne's lack of honesty with fiancé Gerard.
My one disappointment: click only if you've read The Bungalow or curiosity gets the better of you (how's that for an all care no responsibility clause lol)
Why, oh why didn't Anne & Westry have more time? I cried as I read Westry had returned year after year to the bungalow, hoping that Anne had also been back. Reuniting at 90+ years I couldn't help feel sad ... so much time lost
I fell in love with the beautiful island of Bora Bora and Anne & Westry's hidden bungalow, Sarah's lyrical descriptions put me right in the moment; perspiring in the humidity, the sand pushing up between my toes, inhaling the sweet scent of tropical flowers.
WWII, mystery, tragedy, secrets, love and loss, and being a former nurse I adored reading about the nursing corps but this wasn't the highlight, well not for me. Whilst it's all an integral part of the multi-layered plot, giving explanation if not justification for characters' behaviour for me The Bungalow was a beautiful story of relationships, both complex and fleeting, with lovers, family and friends and best of all ~ love that endures.