Read, Run, Repeat

A tale of fitness, books, food, and life in between

Goodbye July & A Book Review: The Bungalow

on July 31, 2013

So, today is the last day of July … wasn’t it JUST June?? Where is the summer going!? Slow down please!! There is so much more I want to do! (I sure wish that the winter moved this fast!!) I feel like I need to create yet another list of things to get going on before the summer is over! I actually only have 3 weeks 2 weeks and 3 days of summer school left!


Last night I finished reading a new book (I know I said that “The Happiness Project” was next, and it has been – I’ve just been reading it intermittently between other nonfiction reading). This book was one that I couldn’t wait to pick to read, so I thought it was a “must share!” Without further ado, I give you, “The Bungalow” by Sarah Jio.

I was a little apathetic about trying another Jio novel, as I wasn’t a HUGE fan of “Blackberry Winter” – but I thought, “aw, what the heck?” I’m so, SO glad I did! The synopsis reads:

In the summer of 1942, newly engaged Anne Calloway 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.”

The book stars in the present and then flashes back into the life of Anne Calloway during the War for the majority of the book; it does come back to the present for the end of the book. I’m actually surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, since it was another “war story”, and that’s usually not my niche – (I feel like that’s one of the things we read to death in MS/HS English) – Remember my run with “The Storyteller”? While I was reading, I actually got so wrapped up in reading the “past” story, that I completely forgot the beginning of the book! When the story flashed back to the present I was A: disappointed and B: totally confused about what the beginning of the story was! That almost never happens!


Not only did I feel like the story was very well-written this time around, but I felt like I was a part of it. I came to really like and care about the characters, and I was sad when the book finished. I also had a strange need to jump on a plane and visit Bora Bora and/or find a yellow hibiscus flower! The book had everything that I could want written it to it: love/romance, a mystery, character growth, and happy endings 😉 The story touched on and brought up such topics as:

  • Can love really last forever?
  • What is justice? Can it mean different things to different people?
  • What is the price for justice?
  • How much can your past decisions affect/haunt your future?

I would highly recommend this book to a friend – (aka YOU!) – it’s an easy, entertaining read, but without all the “fluff” of a more typical “chick lit” style. Plus, it’s a well-developed story. If you decide to give it a go, let me know how you like it J Sarah Jio redeemed herself in my eyes with this one!

On another book note: Before the Bungalow, I finished “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn – which has been highly regarded in the blog world and the literary world. I actually had to put a hold on the book to get it at the library, and had to wait about a month or so for it to be mine. To say I was excited to finally read it was an understatement. I truly enjoyed most of the book – I loved that it was written from different perspectives, and the “twist” actually caught me off guard!! Sadly, the end of the book was …. Blah. To me, it felt like the author was done writing, and just wanted to finish the book. All of the sudden the book was moving at rapid fire pace, and at the end, I was left feeling totally unsatisfied! Disappointing to say the least. Perhaps I let the hype get to me, again. No matter, I’ll try another Gillian Flynn book anyway – perhaps it will be another “The Bungalow” experience!

Answer me this: What should I read next? Do you have a favorite author(s)?  Ever read Sarah Jio or Gillian Flynn? What are your plans for August and/or “must do” things before the summer is over?

~ Brittany

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2 responses to “Goodbye July & A Book Review: The Bungalow

  1. I like Margaret Atwood…aka Sophie Kinsella (if you’re looking for a quick fluffy read)

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