Review: Blackberry Winter
Title: Blackberry Winter
Author: Sarah Jio
290 pages, published September 2012
Genre: General Fiction
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 perpetrator's.
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..
What I love about both of Sarah Jio's books that I've read (this one and Goodnight June) is how she beautifully ties the past and the present together. This book alternated between Vera's perspective in the 1930's to Claire's perspective in the present, and did so in a way that made sense and made the story flow. How their two worlds end up entwining is a surprise you don't see coming!
This book had me hooked from the beginning. I instantly related to and cared about both Vera and Claire, and really wanted to know what happened to Vera's little boy, Daniel. My heart broke for her. Because the chapters alternated, it made the book hard to put down. I also loved the historical fiction aspect of the book and that it was set in Seattle.
I can't wait to read more of Jio's books. Her writing is beautiful and her characters are so compelling. I highly recommend this book!
Overall rating for "Blackberry Winter": A