Author: Sarah Jio
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: MUST READ
Pre-order: Amazon Barnes & Nobles
Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel,
goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to
discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has
vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy
street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the
Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 "blackberry winter" storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways...
Blackberry Winter was difficult for me to read, as a mother, because it struck a chord buried deep within me. Losing a child, in any way, is a mom’s worst nightmare and something no one wants to go through. I didn’t want to read on at points, because I wasn’t sure I really wanted to know what happened, unsure if I could handle reading about it, yet I couldn’t put this book down. It’s was impossible not to keep turning the pages, devouring each and every words as they fell together so perfectly.
It amazes me how well Ms. Jio skillfully switches between the past and present, interweaving the two and leaving clues within each, tying everything together in seamless effort. The characters, Vera and Claire, are well developed and beautifully so. They exist on and off the page due to the writing style Sarah Jio processes. Even now, I’m amazed this story is fiction; it feels as if these characters truly lived and loved.
The setting is perfect. I love Seattle. Ms. Jio does a wonderful job depicting the scenes throughout the novel, giving the reader clear insight and a mental picture of the city, both in the past and the present. I immensely enjoyed this novel. It tugged on my heart strings, fulfilled my love of historical and contemporary fiction, all while giving me just enough mystery and suspense without scaring me off. It connected me to the characters and places in the story, all while keeping me glued to the pages and completely satisfied in the end.
Sarah Jio is one of the most consistent, surprising and incredibly talented authors I’ve read. I’ve had the pleasure of reading each of her three published novels and each has been unique and well written with intriguing characters and an engrossing plot line. I cannot put her books down. I urge you to hit up your local bookstore, Target or Barnes and Nobles for your copy of Blackberry Winter. You won’t want to miss the buzz this novel is likely to create. It has something for everyone.