Blackberry Winter: A Novel

Blackberry Winter: A Novel

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by Sarah Jio
     
 

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In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels—The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter—taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon—Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of

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Overview

In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels—The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter—taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon—Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time. 

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...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Claire Aldridge is a reporter for the Seattle Herald coping with an emotionally detached husband and the grief of a recent miscarriage. When she awakes one May morning to find Seattle blanketed in snow, she begins to write a piece about the weather phenomenon known as a blackberry winter. Claire soon unearths the story of Vera Ray, a woman whose three-year-old son went missing in a similar snowstorm on the same day nearly 80 years before, in 1933. As Claire digs deeper, she discovers that she and Vera share ties to the wealthy Kensington family, who may be pulling strings and obfuscating Claire’s research in an effort to stop her from uncovering the dark secrets that bind her to Vera. Jio’s newest (after The Bungalow) is a fascinating exploration of love, loss, scandal, and redemption. While astute readers will likely surmise the nature of Claire and Vera’s connection long before the big reveal, the proceedings are nevertheless engaging, with Claire and Vera enticing protagonists. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Sarah Jio and her novels:
 
“Jio has become one of the most-read women in America.” —Woman’s World (on Morning Glory)
 
“Delightful and uplifting.” –Historical Novel Society (on Goodnight June)
 
“Linger[s] long after the last page.” –Romantic Times (on The Last Camellia)
                                                                                                                                                    
Eminently readable . . . a tribute to family and forgiveness.” —Booklist (on Goodnight June)
 
“Terrific … compelling … an intoxicating blend of mystery, history and romance.” –Real Simple (on Blackberry Winter)

Praise for The BungalowPulpwood Queens Book Club, Official Selection 2012“A heartfelt, engaging love story set against the fascinating backdrop of the War in the Pacific.” - Kristin Hannah, author of Home Front“Unabashedly romantic . . . thanks to Jio’s deft handling of her plot and characters. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this gentle historical love story.” - Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews
Jio's third book combines flashbacks with a contemporary romance and mystery set against a freak late-spring snowstorm in Seattle. Newspaper reporter Claire Aldridge's recovery from a personal setback has not gone well. She's struggling at work, and her marriage to the love of her life, Ethan, is crumbling. As the couple appears to be heading for a breakup, Claire is given an assignment to write a feature story about a sudden snowstorm that blankets Seattle in May 2010. The story's angle is to compare and contrast it to an identical storm that took place on the same day in 1933. While Claire works to find something interesting about the twin storms, she stumbles across the tale of a woman named Vera Ray, whose 3-year-old son, Daniel, disappeared during that 1933 storm. Vera, a decent and beautiful single mother, works at a ritzy hotel cleaning rooms, while trying to feed and clothe her little boy on pennies a day. Down to her last cent and unable to pay her rent, with no one to watch Daniel while she works, Vera leaves him alone in the apartment, but returns only to find him gone. The only clue to his disappearance is Daniel's beloved teddy bear, found in the snow outside her apartment building. Kicked out of her apartment, she reports him missing to police, who dismiss the child as a runaway. The parallel stories of Claire, whose husband's wealthy family owns the paper where they both work, and Vera, a down-on-her-luck beauty who stops at nothing while trying to find her child, are told in a compelling, but ultimately implausible method by former journalist Jio, who incorporates an overabundance of coincidence in this tale, all of which serve only to stretch the novel's believability to the breaking point. Competently written, but the prose runs from saccharin to syrupy. Those willing to overlook a series of implausible coincidences and wade through spoonfuls of sugar to get to the fairy-tale ending will be rewarded. This novel will enchant Jio's fans and make them clamor for her next offering.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452298385
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
286,770
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for The Bungalow
Pulpwood Queens Book Club, Official Selection 2012
“A heartfelt, engaging love story set against the fascinating backdrop of the War in the Pacific.” - Kristin Hannah, author of Home Front
“Unabashedly romantic . . . thanks to Jio’s deft handling of her plot and characters. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this gentle historical love story.” - Library Journal

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