Sunday, June 15, 2014

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

by:  Sarah Jio
published by:  Plume
publish date:  May 27, 2014

June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature.

I'm a huge fan of Sarah Jio's and I will like everything she's written.  Goodnight June, however, is not one of my favorites.  I liked the story and it was clever, but I was a little put off by the relationship between the characters.

June is a hotshot banker in New York when her great-aunt Ruby dies.  While it has been many years since she has seen Ruby, her great-aunt practically raised her in the children's bookstore she owned.  June is stunned to learn that Ruby has left her Bluebird Books and flies out to Seattle with the intention of selling it and getting back to her life. However, once back home, June finds it hard to sell her childhood home especially once she finds Ruby has left her a scavenger hunt of sorts.  Ruby has left letters between herself and Margaret Wise Brown, the author of Goodnight Moon, all over the shop and they illustrate a side of Ruby that June never knew.

All of that part of the book, I liked a lot.  However, while June is unraveling Ruby's past she has an instalove relationship with the owner of the restaurant next door.  Their courtship was bothersome to me.  It was like "oh, I love you".  Maybe, not that quick, but close and weirdly non-physical.  I've always been a little critical of Sarah Jio's portrayal of romantic relationships though.

For me, Sarah Jio books are always a bit of cozy happiness.  They're just always really easy to like.  She makes me want to move to Seattle.  I definitely recommend any of her books.

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