Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Blackberry Winter - Sarah Jio

On July 24 of last year, I wrote a review of Sarah Jio's Goodnight June. You all know what I thought of that because I've been raving about it for over a year now.  And, if you recall (how can you not?), I rated the book a 4.0+.  But here's the funny part of this story - I haven't read any of her other books.  I can't really explain why.  Fortunately, that has just changed.  Last week I read my 2nd Jio.  And, once again, I turned to my Goodreads friend, Melissa, to give me some suggestions.  Since she is the one who recommended, nay insisted, that I read GJ in the 1st place, I asked her what to read next.  She gave me 2 - Blackberry Winter and Violets of March.  I picked BW because it was a little newer (by 1 year) than VoM.  Did I like it as well as GJ?  No.  Did I really like it a lot?  Yes. 3.5/4.  Here's the back cover blurb:

SEATTLE, 1933.  Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, good night and reluctantly leaves for work.  She hates the night shift, but it's the only way she can earn enough to keep destitution at bay.  In the morning - even though it's the second of May - a heavy snow is falling. Vera rushes to wake Daniel, but his bed is empty.  His teddy bear lies outside in the snow.
SEATTLE, Present Day.  On the second of May, Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge awakens to another late-season snowstorm.  Assigned to cover this "blackberry winter" and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel's unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth - only to discover that she and Vera are linked in unexpected ways.

Is Blackberry Winter similar in structure to Goodnight June?  Not really. And that's a good thing because it won't prevent me from reading another one (I already have Violets of March in my TBR pile).  Plus, I just found out today that Sarah's next book, ALWAYS, is being released February 7 of next year.  That's only 119 days from now!  I am now committed to reading any new Jio's, while catching up on the old ones.

Melissa told me to get the tissues ready.  And, to be sure, there were a few tears here and there.  But not nearly as many as I expected.  I did, however, have my usual assortment of chills (some pretty major ones, too), OMGs, and raised eyebrows.  There was even a part early on where I knew what was coming and said to myself:  "I do NOT want to read about this."  What I did have an abundance of was surprises.  There were developments late in the book that I did NOT anticipate, expect, or guess.  That was really fun.


  1. I enjoyed that book, too, even though it was full of coincidences.

    1. I didn't think about that, but you're right. What you call coincidences I call surprises!

  2. I love her books. Looking forward to her newest.