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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Last Camellia...Review


About the book:
A romantic and suspenseful tale about two women whose destiny is bound across the years

On the eve of World War II, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.

More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?

Sarah Jio's novels all follow the same premise: alternating narratives between the past and the present with a mystery that the modern day protagonist must solve with links and clues to the past.  It's a formula that works well as her stories cross the generations.  The floral thievery aspect of this novel was fascinating to me.  I'd never heard of people stealing flowers or that particular flowers could be so valuable.

Flora and Addison were characters with great potential and I really liked Addison's husband Rex.  I can't say that I liked any of the Livingston's at all and the story was a bit predictable as to what happens to the missing girls.  Bit on the macabre side of things, but compelling nonetheless.  I kind of liked the little twist at the end and thought it appropriate.

I have enjoyed the previous two Sarah Jio books I've read and I was looking forward to her new one.  This one didn't capture me as much as the other two, although it is still an enjoyable novel.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book. You can purchase your own copy here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here.

Monday, June 24th:  Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, June 26th:  Utah Mom’s Life
Friday, June 28th:  Book Addict Katie
Monday, July 1st:  A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, July 2nd:  Ageless Pages Review
Wednesday, July 3rd:  A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, July 8th:  Write, Meg!
Thursday, July 11th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, July 15th:  Amused by Books
Wednesday, July 17th:  Guiltless Reading
Thursday, July 18th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, July 22nd:  Book Dilettante
Tuesday, July 23rd:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Thursday, July 25th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, July 26th:  BookChickDi
TBD:  Books a la Mode - guest post
TBD:  2 Kids and Tired

Read 7/13

* * *
3/5 Stars

4 comments:

Jennifer @ Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I haven't read any of her books, but I would love to try one. I'm not sure about the alternating narratives, because I have a hard time with books that go through the past and present.

bermudaonion said...

She does seem to have come up with a winning formula for her books.

Darlene said...

I really enjoyed this book. I listened to it on audio and it was fantastic but I also have not read her other two books yet. I've seen many reviews saying the same things you have. Oh well intend to listen to the other two soon!

Kristina Simon said...

That sounds really interesting. I like books that move between past and present. I'll have to check out some of Sarah Jio's work. Thanks for the review!