|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
On the eve of the Second World War, 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?
Love, love, love!! I absolutely loved this book! It had mystery, drama, love, England, and flowers! What more could I ask for? Plus, it had the perfect mixture of past and present. Jio did an amazing job of weaving Flora and Addison's stories together. In fact, the way she connected the characters to the house and one another was fascinating. Plus, I loved learning about the camellia - I even wound up googling Middlebury Pink. I will admit to enjoying Flora's story a bit more than Addison's - I couldn't help it. Flora's just had this emotional pull that I felt Addison's lacked. Also, I identified with Flora more - working to help her parents out was something I could relate to. Aside from the characters, I found myself easily engaged with Jio's story and would not put it down for anything (well, except for work and the drive home, but then I picked it right up and didn't stop reading.)
So, what exactly is this book about? Well, its about a young woman named Flora who travels to England to become a nanny. Only, its not just kids that she will be keeping an eye on. Nope, Flora is on the look out for a rare flower that she hopes will provide the financial means necessary to take care of her parents. As for Addison, she's a woman with a past who has been dodging phone calls lately. Seems her past is about to catch up with her and in a bid to leave it behind, she tells her husband that a trip to England is just what they both need. Of course, a change in location doesn't mean that you can escape your problems - in fact, it seems to make them even bigger. Sounds intriguing, eh? Well, it is! And, of course it all takes place in England (I heart that country) - in one of those huge, stately manors that has hidden staircases, too many rooms, and beautiful gardens. Now, I'm not going to say what goes down, or who is responsible for what, because I don't want to spoil anything for you. However, I will tell you one thing - the butler didn't do it. Har har har. Seriously though, you will enjoy reading this book and you will love the surprise at the end.
The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio is one book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of Jio, women's fiction, and novels in general. You will absolutely fall in love with this book - I did! In fact, I still can't believe that I waited so long to read Jio - what was I thinking?
Oh, and if you don't believe me, then check out these other reviews of the book: The Last Camellia
And now, I'm off to order the rest of Sarah Jio's books. Happy reading!!
GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the publisher, FIVE lucky readers can win a copy of this FANTASTIC novel!! All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite flower is. How easy is that? Last day to enter is July 17th! Open to US/Canada residents only. Good luck!!