Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: "Goodnight June" by Sarah Jio

June Andersen has a job that she's good at, but it has changed her in more ways than she realizes. New York has hardened her. She is estranged from her flighty sister, has issues with her mother, and she hasn't been home to visit her beloved aunt in a long time. When Aunt Ruby passes away and leaves June her ailing children's bookstore, Bluebird Books, June finds herself flying home unexpectedly to ready the bookstore for sale. What she isn't expecting is to have to confront all of the memories that flood back as soon as she steps foot on home soil, nor is she expecting to uncover a decades-old mystery that waits for her within the pages of Ruby's old books.

I enjoyed Goodnight June on a lot of levels. The plot is possibly my favourite of all of Sarah Jio's books to date. Author Jio tells the fictional story of how beloved children's author Margaret Wise Brown may have come to develop the children's classic Goodnight Moon. I really enjoyed reading the letters that were written back and forth between June's Aunt Ruby and Margaret Wise Brown. They gave me a peek into a different way of life as well as into the mind of a fascinating woman! I could tell that the author had done considerable research into Margaret Wise Brown's life as these characters came to life on the page.

I also really enjoyed the mystery that unraveled within the pages of this book. I didn't guess what would happen right away and I had fun trying to put all of the pieces together! I thought that Goodnight June had a few different elements that made it especially interesting to read- there was a mystery, some history, and we get to know June and her past and how it has shaped her current outlook on life.

My one criticism about the book is how neatly the ending came together. It seemed like every loose end just fell into place, and there were a lot of loose ends, so it felt too coincidental at times for me. I wish that there would have been a little controversy left at the end, or I wish that there was something left for us to imagine! Although I enjoyed the book overall the neatness of the ending meant that I didn't think about it much after I finished reading it- there was nothing left for me to wonder about!

Jio has weaved another interesting tale within the pages of Goodnight June and she has managed to effortlessly combine the past and the present once into something compulsively readable. Goodnight June will appeal to women's fiction fans as well as to those who have enjoyed reading Goodnight Moon over and over again to their children, as it offers us a contemporary story as well as an interesting peek into the past. I thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy of this book.


  1. I've only read one book by this author which I liked very much. This sounds another good on

  2. Hoping to try this one as well --thanks for sharing