Books Reviews

Review: The Last Camellia - Sarah Jio

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I wonder how people suddenly decide to love a book or a story to the point of putting the author and her work on the bestseller list in the world. The New York Times, which is one of the most popular lists in the world. And so, when I read the work that was included in the list, I realize some reasons why this happened.

I am starting the introduction of this review this way because the author of The Last Camellia, Sarah Jio is one of the authors who joined this list and who has remained on it. I started reading The Violets of March, snow in spring and the bungalow and it's amazing how much Sarah Jio manages to captivate and hold the reader with her stories full of love, with a line between past and present and with a point of fantastic drama.

The Last Camellia is a work that will bring a bit of history about the mansions of the English countryside. That's why I put it on a higher level. I love it when an author uses this kind of scenario to describe all kinds of experiences. In the case of this work, you will have a life inserted between botany and flora, after all there is really a camellia inserted in the story as a secondary context.

We start the story where a rare camellia is sought after all over England, this in the 19th century. Thus, with the passage of time, in the 1940s, one gets to know the life of Flora, an American who, in order to save her family's life, decides to accept an opportunity in England as a nanny in a mansion. But in fact what she's about to do is actually something wrong and there's no going back.

The family in question is Livingston, who just lost her matriarch in a mysterious way, but who left the splendorous gardens, a notebook with a secret code and children with broken hearts. Not only that, but a secret hovers between the people in the house, including the housekeeper, who seems to know about everyone and everything.

“The driver parked carefully in front of the mansion, then the car sputtered, as if the engine refused to come any closer to the property. The scenery almost took my breath away. The ivy-covered stone facade with ornate cornices and exquisite detailing looked like a page out of a history book. Three stories high with five chimneys visible, the mansion was much larger than I had imagined, and as I took a step toward the entrance, my heart was pounding.” page 56

The author often makes use of the past and present and that's where Addison and Rex enter, a couple in the 2000s, who are enjoying a great marriage, but which Addison tries to hide a haunted past. And it's for a reason that they decide to spend the holidays at the Livingston mansion, which now belongs to Rex's family.

Little by little they discover that some tragic story took place in that mansion, and the same housekeeper still lives there and watches over everyone's steps. But the truth seems more terrifying and little by little the clues are revealed.

Another beautiful story from Sarah Jio. In the other books I saw a little more suspense, but this one also had its dose, only a little more detailed for a romance, for a little less drama. The mystery has a beginning, a middle and an end and even if I expected another kind of ending, I was completely satisfied. The writing is so intoxicating that I read it pretty quickly.

“My eyes opened at two in the morning. I sat up, almost losing my breath. In my dream I saw Sean again. I looked at Rex sleeping peacefully beside me. It's just a dream. It's just a dream. When I closed my eyes, though, all I could see was his face.” page 110

once again the New concept agrees to publish the work of Sarah Jio. And I nominate you to read not only this one, but all the works that were also published by the publisher. Who has ever read any of the works of the Lucinda Riley you will notice a similar style in Jio's storyline. Both are perfect at scenario description and story development across the timeline. A perfect dose of literature.

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