The Last Camellia
By Sarah Jio
Hi fellow readers!! Glad to be back here again!! I took a break from blogging for a little bit there. While I was gone I earned my certification in Post Anesthesia Nursing. That entailed a nasty almost three-hour test and a lot of studying. I also have not had a chance to read much in the last couple of weeks!! I started two books and ditched both of them. This is very unlike me!! I started a book by Alice McDermont called Charming Billy and I just couldn’t really get into it. Then I started what I later found out was an absolutely huge book by Alison Weir. It was 608 pages! The name of it was Elizabeth of York and it is to be released in early December. Hmm, I don’t know I usually like anything about the Tudors, but this was non-fiction and I couldn’t keep all the people straight. So I gave up on it too, at least for now. I did start The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and so far I am sticking with it. It has been in the to read pile for a while.
Just a little side note here. I have been on a diet since September. I am happy to announce that I am now 138.5 pounds. I weighed 155 when I started! WhoooHooo!!! It is beginning to show. I went from a size 14 to a size 8 just eating 1200 calories a day. Not easy!!! I am back into small scrubs at work!! I have just started doing yoga to tone up. I just had to toot my own horn a little there!! Look out honey momma needs a new wardrobe!!!
Okay back to the business of books. I have been a member of the GoodReads Historical Romance group for a few years, but not actively. I have decided to participate and read the December book. I am eagerly waiting to find out tomorrow what book was chosen by the group. I’ll let you know how that goes.
I did manage to read and finish The Last Camellia. It was released in May of 2013. I bought it as a book for my kindle. Sarah Jio has written several novels, The Bungalow, Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March. I think that I have read them all. I did a review of The Violets of March. She also has a new book coming out November 26, 2013. It is called Morning Glory and I will have to keep an eye out for it.
The Last Camellia contains the story of two women one in the past and one in the present. It does a wonderful job of transitioning from one time period to another. Flora is a young girl in 1940 who goes to England from the United States to become a nanny. She becomes mixed up with a flower thief. Then there is Addison/Amanda in 2000, who is hiding her past and her problems from her husband Rex. She decides to get away to an English cottage that Rex’s parents have just bought. Addison finds an gardener’s notebook with many numbers that seem to be a secret code in the cottage. Addison becomes entangled in the mystery of the missing girls of 1940 that disappeared on the grounds.
This book is like two stories in one! The mystery of what happened to the Middlebury Pink Camellia kept me reading and engrossed. This novel is packed with mystery and intrigue. I like that the book is not predictable. It kept me wondering what would happen next. I wanted to hurry up to see what was going to happen, but I knew that then the book would end!! I felt that this book was easy to read and the information about the camellias was presented in an interesting way. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it for anyone who likes a good mystery with strong female characters and a splash of history. I give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.