The Bungalow

Thoughts tbbysj The Bungalow by Sarah Jio, Plume 2011, 320 page eBook

Blurb:  A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.

What’s it ABOUT: A young socialite who is in a committed relationship with the steady-fellow that has been her destiny to wed (his name is Gerard) has just graduated from nursing school with no intentions of ever really being a nurse. However, she impulsively signs up to be a WW2 nurse in the South Pacific because her best friend signed up! She really wasn’t 100% sure that she was quite yet ready to move into that destiny of being Gerard’s wife and the mother to his soon begotten children anyway. And nurses are needed due to the war. Why not use that degree for a few months and be a good friend to Kitty?

So off to Bora Bora go our protag Anne and her bff. Soon enough, Anne has fallen for the handsome and passionate Westry and is fixing up an abandoned bungalow that once was the hideaway art shack of Paul Gaugin. Kitty is flirting with all sorts of handsome dangerous hotheads. A murder, an unwanted pregnancy, a painting disappears, Westry is sent to France, Kitty goes to France, Anne goes home to find her Gerard still loves her and so she gets back to those wedding plans.

Zoom forward 50+ years, and Anne receives a letter from Bora Bora. She and her granddaughter decide to go; why not? Right? It’s lovely there no matter what time of year.

OMG YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHO HAS BEEN THERE ALREADY!!!!

And eventually everything is explained…

RATING: Two slices of pie. Mango Pie.

It was OK and I still might someday read The Violets of March, but I wasn’t too impressed with this – I had problems with the coincidences and that she made judgements that didn’t sit right with me. If you’ve read this, consider that letter she hides from Mary. She had NO right, imo. Mary was an odd story line. And Anne didn’t seem upset about stuff that I think she should have been upset about. Yea, just a little too convenient for plot progressing rather than developing.

But don’t take my word for it just because these kinds of books just aren’t always my cup of tea! Read Meg’s review here. AND know that this book had a goodreads rating of 3.93 which is pretty good.

Read for my neighborhood book club. Discussion tonight.

 

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Re-Reading The Book Thief

Some more thoughts…   The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, Alfred A Knopf New York 2007 (imprint of Random House Children’s Books).  Originally published in Australia 2005 by Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Pty Ltd, Sydney; 550 pages.

Since this is a re-read and not even one that I had picked for the Re-Reading / Flashback Challenge but one that I picked up again because my IRL bookclub chose it for this month’s selection, and now having rambled into some kind of extensive sentence of which I cannot seem to grasp a good way to wrap up, may I point you to my original review  thoughts post on the first time I read this awesome book?      From eleven months ago…

I STILL love this book.

I have not been the kind of person that re-reads books.    This was partly due to my being much more motivated to read new-to-me books — all those classics that I’ve always thought I *should* read or hot new titles that beckon with pushy enthusiasm.    I never read for “comfort.”     I hate to know what is going to happen.

But then I re-read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I had always adored my first-read experience with CS Lewis’  The Chronicles of Narnia and  I wanted it fresh in my mind when the movie came out.

I was so disappointed.   I can’t remember what exactly I was disappointed by but do know that it had lost its magic.   I was then shattered and so sad.   I felt that I had RUINED my memory of the joy of discovering the world of Narnia.      I vowed never to re-read a book again.

Until I decided that such a stance was silly.

And along came this year’s re-read challenge and I thought I would try the concept again.

AND…   The Book Thief. I still think it is full of awesomeness.     And I bawled my eyes out.

[from early in the book, page 80:]

She was the book thief without the words.

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.

[updated about five minutes after posting this post to add that I’m just now reading Zusak’s thoughts at the end of the book and I’m crying again!]

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