I picked up The Last Camellia because I wasn’t quite ready to move away from a novel with an old estate that harbored a decades old mystery. Initially, the botanical theme that permeated the story didn’t exactly spark my interest, but a few pages in I remembered why I love Sarah Jio’s books and read with pleasure. Jio has a straightforward and simple writing style while maintaining an elegance that makes her beautiful stories easy to read.
The two women at the heart of this book had spirit and secrets that moved the story alone very well. In the present, Addison landed at the estate with her husband and attempted to hide her past while uncovering the secrets buried in the orchard. In 1940, Flora arrived at the same estate pretending to be someone she wasn’t with the intent of aiding floral thieves. Both women were tormented by these secretes, and there were constant peaks in the story when it seemed they would be revealed for who they really were. Since I liked the characters of each heroin, I was engrossed in their individual plight. The novel contained elements of both romance and mystery that complimented each other very well. This book was packed with action, but that meant the end was a bit disjointed for me due to the number of subplots that provided too many options for the resolution.
I’ve come to really appreciate Jio as an author I can always count on for a good story. I can’t wait to read more from her!