Thursday, March 29, 2012



by Sarah Jio

Available here on Amazon

A book review for

Food for Thought,

a delicious blog for readers with

an appetite for the written word.

Photo by Pondside

I read this book on a cold and rainy Saturday which was the perfect backdrop for reading a story set on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, though this novel would also make a good beach read whilst sunning in the sand or whiling away the hours on a bopping boat.

Photos by Pondside

The story brought back my own sweet memories of time spent in the North West ~ Seattle, Victoria Island, and the islands in Puget Sound.

Violets, in Victorian time when flowers were used to impart meanings, symbolized virtue, affection, watchfulness, love, and faithfulness. Ironically Emily, the protagonist in this work, is recently divorced from a cheating husband. Faithfulness was not what she experienced in her marriage.

Photo by Pondside

Emily Wilson, a beautiful, successful published author, was once at the top of her game with a book soaring to the height of the New York Times Best Seller List and a movie deal. Now with a case of writer's block and freshly divorced, Emily abandons her New York City life to return to the home of her favorite Great Aunt Bee where she spent the summers of her childhood.

Photo by Pondside

In an attempt to heal and rekindle her creative talents, Emily's escape provides an opportunity to rediscover the island she loved as a child, reconnect with her high school heart throb, and meet an intriguing new man. Emily's island sojourn also whisked her away on a mysterious path to the discovery of long held family secrets.

Photo by Pondside

Bainbridge Island, just west of Seattle, is only ten miles long and five miles wide. VIOLETS OF MARCH gives the reader a glimpse into island life on this popular refuge. Though much of the story is predictable, I found Sarah Jio's debut novel to be both entertaining and romantically touching.

Photo by Pondside

"Any one feel like clam chowder?'

Bee said standing up.

She always ordered clam chowder on the ferry,

no matter what time it was,

no matter that the passage lasted a mere half hour. "

Clam chowder is a favorite here, so

clam chowder it was as my FFT selection.

With the romance of violets in mind,

I picked a few from the garden to

add a touch of romance to our dinner tray.

Ahh ~ violets and sea shells!

My recipe for clam chowder is an old standby from Betty Crocker.

It was from my first cookbook,

and a dish I frequently made early in our marriage.

It's still a favorite.

You can find the recipe here,

but I also add carrots and celery to the mix.

You can read more about the

details of this tray scape setting here.

Photo by Pondside

If you're headed to an island retreat, a day at the beach, or just a lazy afternoon with a chance to escape into a book, you might want to take along a copy of VIOLETS OF MARCH. It's a delightful romance and easy read.

Photo by Laura @ 52 Flea

~ Violets ~

Love ~ Virtue ~ Watchfulness ~ Faithfulness ~

~ Let's Take a Chance on Happiness ~

Click links below for more reviews

Also Joining


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. I can't believe you have violets already! I feel so behind from all you ladies in warmer areas. Your soup looks fabulous, perfect for the dishes too. I have a few of those and just love them too.

  2. Never been, and the photos make me want to visit, see the sights, and ride the ferry. Love violets!
    xo Cathy

  3. Sarah~ I love your review! How fun that you included Pondside's photos to set the stage! I'm keeping my fingers crossed~ we may be taking a trip to Vancouver and stopping off in Seattle the end of April, so a ferry ride will be on our agenda!

    Your chowder looks delicious and I love your spoons! I'll keep my eyes peeled for more bowls or plates for you!

    Thanks for reading and playing along with us for FFT :)

  4. I love the title of the book. Books are great it gives the idea wings. Beautiful images. I love the picture with violets in the purple tin heart. I wish you a nice weekend! Zinnia

  5. What a beautiful setting and very good read. Love those types of books. I am going to see if my library has it soon.

  6. I love those type of books.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)
    Have a nice day

  7. I was drawn in by the title. Yes, I know you're not supposed to do that, but I was. Now, I want to read it. I loved the photos you used to accompany this!

  8. Love how you pulled this post together, Sarah!
    I will click on your yummy soup recipe too. I know my family would LOVE it.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Looking forward to our little plaid party in less than two days. Should be fun, Sarah!

    xox --


  9. How wonderful this book was to read and link to FFT. I agree, a wonderful read and escape for the weekend. What a great idea to make chowder and it looks delicious. A favourite of mine also!Great photo's. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Delicious Review, Sarah & made even more tasty with Pondsie's beautiful photographs! I'd not seen those shots before, so I'm heading over to her blog to check them out just as soon as I hit "publish"

    Your hearty clam chowder looks wonderful & would hit the spot tonight with our cold rain coming in. We've covered our plants twice this week to protect them from frost. And here YOU'RE picking violets from your yeard!! NOT FAIR! *wink*

    Have a wonderful weekend, Honey,

  11. Hi Sarah, what a lovely post. I am loving purple and lavender flowers this spring as well. They just seem to get to me. And I love love love clam chowder. Yummy! Thanks for your visit and sweet comments to me on my blog. Have a blessed weekend.

  12. Oh, that chowder looks good, wish I could get past the clams, maybe chicken would work as well.

    National Tartan Day is new too me but sounds like fun.

  13. Aren't Violets PRECIOUS! For such a little flower they create a "BIG STIR". This is a beautiful post(LOVE those shell dishes!) and The book looks so delightful!
    Here in New England we LIVE by our great debate on Clam Chowder. I prefer "New England Clam Chowder", BUT CROSS the boarder to RI and it's the Rhode Island clam chowder(which is more of a broth), and over the boarder into NY and it's "MANHATTAN Clam Chowder"! Yours seems different than ALL THREE of these, and I'll be sure to give it a try!LOVE Clam Chowder! Thank you for sharing YOUR recipe for us.
    Big Hugs to you,

  14. My husband vacationed in the Pacific NW often as a child and visited some of these places. His parents return as often as they can and all love that part of the country. I've never been but would love to someday. I always hear how beautiful it is. The book sounds good!


  15. Good morning dearest Sarah!

    THANK YOU FOR VISITING me with your encouraging and positive words. You are a retired teacher, so YOU KNOW what it is all about. The joys, the challenges, the frustrations, the decisions. It is a shame; I used to come home telling my husband how much I loved my job. The last two years were not so.

    MANY MANY HUGS TO YOU and VIOLETS????? OH YES, it is time to rejoice over the beauty of SPRING!! Anita

  16. Hi Sarah,
    I enjoyed this lovely post very much! That area is one that I have long wanted to explore...the book sounds like a good relaxing read and of course, we do all love those sweet violets! Thanks for liking and including my little photo.
    Take care, Laura :)

  17. Clever review Sarah, love that you had violets ready to pick from the garden and Pondside's great photographs to set the scene.
    Getting ready for the Parade, Ben has his picnic blanket ready to go!

  18. What a lovely way of presenting your Book Review Sarah.

  19. Your chowder looks fabulous, Sarah! It would be perfect for the cool and rainy weekend weather we are having here. This book sounds like a perfect weekend escape book to read. I'd like to withdraw to a pretty island myself!

    Violets are such pretty little flowers aren't they? Lovely photos!

  20. Sounds like a wonderful book, Sarah! The clam chowder looks yummy! Hope you are having a great week!...hugs...Debbie

  21. i so love this... from your dreamy cover shot to the sea, how could i not smile :)

    you selected the perfect shots, don't you love looking for them. every one is perfection... and to be right on the ferry!

    its like you have taken us there to the chilly north and then warmed us up with your soup in that adorable wave bowl.

    your last shot is stunning the flowers and heart, just beautiful! what a treat, i am sorry i am so late getting back to see this, but it was so worth the wait! thank you so much for playing along with fft! we have added 2 more books for sept, check out chickens, mules and 2 old fools and the sequel two old fools, ole :-) its a 2 for one review!

  22. I don't know how I missed this post! All I can say is that the end of March through end of April is the craziest time of year for me at work. I enjoyed this!

  23. Good bye, genial chum :)


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