Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

by:  Sarah Jio
published by:  Plume
publish date:  September 25, 2012

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.  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.
 I've read and reviewed Sarah Jio's previous two books, The Bungalow (my review) and Violets of March (my review).  While I had a few little issues with those two books, I really did like them.  Blackberry Winter is Sarah Jio's best book so far.  The problem I had with the first two books, the lack of feeling in the relationship, was definitely fixed in this book. 

In Blackberry Winter, Claire Aldridge is back at work as a journalist, at the newspaper her husband's family owns.  She is still grieving over the child that she lost in a freakish accident while she was pregnant.  This is putting a great deal of strain to the relationship between husband and wife, and she suspects he may be cheating on her with an ex-girlfriend.

Claire is assigned to cover the current May snowstorm and link it to a past snowstorm that occurred on the same day in 1933.  In the process of doing that she uncovers the unsolved mystery of Daniel and Vera. 

The book alternates between Claire's present day story and Vera's past story.  They come together in amazing and shocking ways.  Claire is closer to the the truth of Vera and Daniel than she would have ever believed possible.

Blackberry Winter was a fantastic book.  I loved the little bits of mystery and scandal sprinkled throughout the book.  The pacing was perfect, the story was rolled out in a way to keep the reader on their toes.  Sarah Jio's next book, The Last Camellia, is due out early next year and this fan of her's is definitely looking forward to it.


Zoë said...

I completely agree! I love Jio's novels and this one was amazing, definitely can't wait for book 4 :)

Autumn Crochet said...

I'm glad to know there are other Sarah Jio fans out there!