Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Title: Blackberry Winter
Author: Sarah Jio 
Genre:  Historical Fiction/Women's Fiction
Publisher: Plume 
Number of Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

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.

Normally I stay far, far away from single mother story lines, and any story line having to do with kids, but since this was a Sarah Jio book I decided to take a risk. I'm so glad I did. Blackberry winter was a heartfelt, emotional read.  I really the pain that all the characters in the book were going through. I loved both the past and the present story lines and honestly didn't see how the two would ever connect. When the two stories finally connected I was totally shouting "yes" at my kindle. The twists and turns that this book takes are amazing and gut wrenching, yet at the same time give you hope that not everything is as hopeless as it appears. 

Blackberry Winter takes you on a journey where I felt like I was experiencing life in Seattle both in the present and past. The attention to detail is amazing, and for someone who has never visited there I felt like I had a good grasp of the what the city was like then and now.  Sarah Jio is a talented writer who continues to surprise me. Her books always have a touch of romance and mystery in them and I love how the past and future always intertwine in the way that you least expect them to. Sarah Jio has gone on my auto-buy list and I can't wait to read her next book.