Title: Goodnight June
Author: Sarah Jio
320 pages, published May 2014
Genre: Women's Fiction
I decided to read this book based on rave reviews from Brandie over at Brandie is a Book Junkie. We have a lot of the same tastes in books (and everything, really!) so I was excited to dive into this one!
June Anderson is a professionally successful banker living in New York City, but is unhappy in her personal life (though she doesn't want to admit it). Suddenly, she receives news that her Aunt Ruby has passed away, and she is called back home to Seattle to settle Ruby's estate and decide the future of Ruby's business, Bluebird Books, a children's bookstore Ruby has owned since the 1940's. June discovers a series of letters between her aunt and the legendary Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown, and is taken on a scavenger hunt through the bookstore to learn about its literary history as she decides the fate of Bluebird Books.
In my review of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, I said that it was a book for book lovers. Goodnight June is most definitely a book for lovers of children's literature. There are several references to some of my favorites, including The Poky Little Puppy. I loved all the characters, and really related to June. I was rooting for her throughout the book! I loved discovering Ruby's story--what at first seemed predictable quickly changed with some unexpected surprises later in the book. It was so much more than your typical "chick lit" book.
Jio's writing style flows effortlessly. The story immediately drew me in, and I found the book hard to put down. In fact, I read the entire second half of the book in one sitting because the story was so engaging.
I loved how meaningful the story was--so many life lesson packed into this book. The "write your own story" theme was perfect for this book. There was something for everyone in this book: lessons in life, family, friendships, and even a little romance. It's one of my favorite books of the year so far!
My take-away from this book:
"Whenever you're down on your luck, and when things aren't going the way you like, remember that you are the author of your own story. You can write it any way you like, with anyone you choose."
Overall rating for "Goodnight June": A