The Last Camellia: A Novel is the third book by Sarah Jio that I have read and once again she does not disappoint. The story is told through two women, Flora in the 1940’s and Addison – current day.
Times are tough in the 40’s and Flora wants to help her mother and father who are struggling with their family owned bakery. Flora has a thing for flowers, which is why she is approached by a flower thief who wants to send her to England in search of a mysterious camellia. She heads off to England to be the nanny at an old English manor. When she gets there, she discovers the manor has it’s own mysteries – like what happened to the lovely Lady Anna whose orchard of camellias is the reason Flora is there, and what about the other girls who are missing?
In the current time, Addison, who also loves flowers, is helping Rex renovate the old manor. She learns of the missing women and the mysterious camellia and sets off to do some investigating of her own. But like Flora, Addison also has her own secrets.
Part cozy mystery and part Gothic, this book was just what I was in the mood for. Yes, it was fairly predictable, but in a nice comforting way. Possibly the ending fits together a little too neatly to be believable, but that only adds to the charm of the story. It’s like a grown-up fairy tale.
A lovely read.
By Pam Greer