Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: "Blackberry Winter" by Sarah Jio

In 1932 in Seattle single mother Vera Ray leaves her three-year-old son Daniel alone in their apartment while she goes to work a night shift as a maid at a nearby hotel. Loathe to leave him alone all night but unable to figure out another way to pay the rent, Vera is unaware of the fact that she will never see her beloved son again. During the night a freak storm blankets Seattle with snow and Vera returns home to find Daniel missing. Despite the fact that everyone tells Vera to give up hope, especially because she is poor and has no access to vital resources, she will never believe that her son isn't somewhere out there looking for her.

In 2010 in Seattle newspaper reporter Claire Aldridge is instructed to write a story about the storm that occurs there on May 1st, referred to as a "blackberry winter". She quickly finds out that a storm happened on the same date 80 years prior and that that is the date on which little Daniel Ray disappeared, never to be heard from again. Dealing with her own tragic situation as well as the fact that she and her husband have never felt further apart from one another, Claire throws herself into the story of Daniel and Vera Ray and becomes desperate to find out what happened to them.

As Claire digs deeper into the story she discovers that there is more to it than she initially thought, and she uncovers some long-buried family skeletons in pursuit of the truth.

I've read Sarah Jio's previous novels and I have loved both of them, but I can honestly say that Blackberry Winter is my favourite novel of hers to date. There was something wonderful about the fact that Claire was able to uncover the truth about events that happened so long ago. Jio's writing was beautiful as always, the characters were ones that you couldn't help but root for, and there was just so much emotion packed into the pages. There are times that too much emotion can turn me off of reading a book. Don't get me wrong- I like emotion, but it has to be in realistic doses, and Jio got that balance just right. There was one scene in particular that really got to me and had me tearing up. I wish that I could tell you which one it was but that would spoil it, so you will just have to read the book for yourself! Jio even managed to surprise me at the end with one thing. There were a few parts of the conclusion that I could see coming, but one part caught me off guard and I liked being surprised.

Blackberry Winter is a novel that I am happy to recommend to anyone looking to read an interesting and heart-wrenching story. Some aspects will appeal to those who enjoy women's fiction, while others will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction. When you combine all of the various elements together it makes for one very enjoyable read. My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this novel.


8 comments:

  1. I've had this author on my list but not got to her yet! this sounds yet another good one.

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    1. Yes, I would highly recommend picking up one of her books! This one if my favourite so far, but they have all been good!!

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  2. i hav never even heard f this author, but after reading this I cant wait to find this book!

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    1. Definitely do! She's great, and this story was so enjoyable :)

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  3. I've been meaning to read this one but haven't gotten to it. Glad you liked it.

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    1. So many books, so little time seems to be my motto these days, LOL, so I totally understand!!

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  4. hi,
    i like the noval yet haven't read it but reading your content i like the story.
    Thanks you.
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    ReplyDelete