The Last Camellia
By: Sarah Jio
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?
I have read all of Sarah Jio's previous books and loved them. She has quickly become one of the few authors on my must buy immediately list. I love Jio's writing style and how she draws the reader in. As with her other novels, this one switches back and forth between the past and present and incorporates a sense of mystery and suspense. I am not a big fan of flowers and gardening so when I read the synopsis I was a little wary of whether or not it would interest me. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that although flowers are an important part of the setting and plot, the attention to the characters and their mysterious ways are what really drives the novel. While this wasn't my favorite Sarah Jio novel, it was definitely interesting and enjoyable.