Blackberry Winter: A Novel

Blackberry Winter: A Novel

4.0 128
by Sarah Jio
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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…  See more details below

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...

Read More

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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101603499
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
132,198
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Videos

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

Meet the Author

Sarah Jio lives with her husband and three children in Seattle, Washington.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Blackberry Winter: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 128 reviews.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Sarah Jio's writing is so wonderful, the bond you feel with her characters and the great stories behind them, "Blackberry Winter" is no exception. Such a great story of loss, love, overcoming the unthinkable and searching for truth. I felt such compassion for both Charles and Vera and wish that things would have been different for them. The devastation that each endured was heart wrenching. Some parts of the novel were a little predictable but I still loved the mystery. This is a very fast read. You will not want to put it down until the last page is turned and then you will want to begin it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah Jio has done it again. Her stories are wonderfully written. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Blackberry Winter will not disapoint. It had my attention from the first page and I'll be thinking about these characters long into the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book from the very beginning. Sarah Jio is my favorite Author. I recommend all of her other books too.
Ann40AW More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I've read by Sarah Jio , the first one being The Violets of March, which I really liked, and I must say Sarah Jio has done it again with "Blackberry Winter." Interesting its title is from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon. 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 "Blackberry Winter" storm, that happened on the same day as in 1933. She learns of an unsolved abduction that happened on this day in 1933, and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways.. "Blackberry Winter" is a book that draws the reader right into the story from page one as the "icy wind seeped through the floorboards and I shivered...." It is a story of sadness, maternal love and a mystery that happened 80 years earlier, and is beautifully told, exploring the past to find the satisfying conclusion to the mystery of many years ago. This was a fast and emotional read, I didn't want to put the book down until the last page and than I didn't want it to end, I wanted more... but like the old saying goes: "All good things must come to an end!" I will be reading more of Sarah Jio's books. I liked this one so much I awarded it 5*****
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked the parallel storyline. It was easy to relate to Claire and what she was going through. It was pretty easy to guess what happened to Daniel early on, but it didn't really affect my interest in the story. That just made me want to read faster. I recommend this book to those that like love stories without any steamy sex scenes. And there wasn't any swearing! I am sure I will read other books bt this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! One of the best I have read this year! A real page turner. The author brought the characters to life, and I could feel their emotions through her words. Mystery and romance were weaved beautifully, without fluff. I would definitely recommend this book, and I look forward to reading more Joi books.
nanaPA More than 1 year ago
First time reading this author. fab,fab,fab. This was truly a great story.The only book that I cried( Happy tears)at the end. you really must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good. Very smooth uread.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
In Seattle, 1933 and 2011, late winter snowstorms happen on the same day , thus beginning a story of two women whose lives seem to intersect in many different ways. In 1933, Vera Ray goes off to clean hotel rooms, kissing her three year old son good-bye, hoping he'll be fine sleeping in his bed alone in their apartment. But when she returns, her precious son is missing. She can't seem to find anyone who cares or who can help her. We learn more about how she found herself in these circumstances as the story progresses. In 2011, Claire is trying to survive the loss of her newborn son and her failing marriage. Her job as a news reporter sends her on the trail of Vera and her son, Daniel. Sarah Jio has constructed a story full of mystery and emotion about mother love, and family relationships. Her characters quickly become very real as the story develops. A wonderful book that is very difficult once you start reading and become more and more involved. A great 'feel good' book in conclusion!
HudsonGirl More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written as all her books. Must read!
Anonymous 5 months ago
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Heartwarming, beautifully written love story, that will tug at your heart strings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
roadtrip More than 1 year ago
It's a fairly interesting story, though the writing is a bit pedestrian, and the coincidences are very hard to swallow. Better editing would have helped a lot. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend gave me this book and at first I was hesitant to read it because the cover reminded me of chick lit novels . What a pleasant surprise to find it is a well-crafted, character-driven book that kept my interest. I enjoyed this author's writing and can highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WELCOME!
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
An engaging yet compelling quick read, a combination of contemporary romance, historical, and mystery---- bridges the gap between two generations of time and women, as Sarah Jio does so well. Claire’s life is not going well (her marriage nor work); she receives an assignment to write a feature story about a sudden snowstorm in Seattle of May 2010. The story’s angle is to compare it to an identical storm which 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, is a single mother, who works at a hotel cleaning rooms, while trying to feed and clothe her little boy on a very low salary. As she was down to her last penny and unable to pay her rent, with no one to watch Daniel while working, she 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 similarities and parallel of the two stories –Claire’s husband’s wealthy family owns the paper where they both work--and Vera, stops at nothing while trying to find her child. A story of loss, love, and hope--a fascinating and emotional read! I look forward to reading more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissBethBC More than 1 year ago
Sarah Jio has the amazing ability to traverse time in a unique and distinctive manner.  Blackberry Winter is just such a novel.   It begins during the 1920,s when a young woman fell in love, conceived a child with a man above her class in society, and realized she couldn't survive in his world or he in hers.  In 1930, their child was three and she was desperately trying to support them.   A terrible snowstorm struck their town in May and she left the three year old home alone.   When she returned he was gone.   And Vera's young life definitely took a turn for the worst. The story is told from alternating points of view, Vera the young mother from the thirties and Claire, a journalist with an assignment to write about another cold front and blizzard in May some eighty years later.   Claire lost her firstborn in the eighth month of pregnancy.   During her research, she found the story of the missing boy, Danny and vowed to find what had happened to him and his loving mother, Vera. Back in those days, everything was a struggle of class.  If you were poor, the law was not in your corner.   If you were high society, your secrets would be kept and you were safe from investigation. Definitely not a time I would have appreciated living in.  Sarah was able to define the character's of these two women who shared the loss of their children.   She developed her characters carefully and exposed their inner strengths, their weaknesses and their dreams. This is a story of hope and love that transcends time.  Tears stained my cheeks as I read through this tragedy, especially the last third of the book, where mysteries were brought to light and resolutions occurred.    It is certainly a love story told from a compassionate heart!    I am only regretting it took this long to get to read it!   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LeelaF More than 1 year ago
Blackberry Winter I was captured by the very first paragraph and I remained engrossed to the very last sentence. This story is so moving and told in a way that tugged at my heartstrings and brought me to tears, both sad and sweet. I was completely transported from one era to the other, making me feel like I was IN the story with the characters, which can only be accomplished by a gifted author. Kudos to Sarah Jio for caring, and making her readers feel like they're "living" in the story. Blackberry Winter is a haunting, beautiful story about a mother's love, as well as a love for family, friendship, and marriage. It begins with love and weaves in mystery, hope, disappointment, kindness, unthinkable loss, selfishness, and then concludes with a love; a timeless love between mother and child. Sighhhhh. I was also inspired by the generosity of certain characters. After reading this story, I recognized the hardships of someone less fortunate than I. So much so, I acted on that in a way that touched me just as much as (if not more) than the recipient. I checked this book out of the library, and will be purchasing a copy for my personal library. A story to be talked about and shared with others. Beautiful, beautiful story.
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for this copy of Blackberry Winter. I was given this in exchange for an honest review. Sarah Jio has another great story! Synopsis: Vera and Claire have one thing in common they have both lost children. One day in the present Claire a reporter is asked to write a story for the Seattle Herald about the last Blackberry Winter in 1933. There was one major event where a child went missing. While Claire investigates this story she is also dealing with a husband who is not really present in her life. We also meet Vera the mother of the missing boy back in 1933. Part of this story is told by Vera as she shares what happened during that winter. What happened to Vera? What happened to the little boy? Will finding the answers help Claire to move on? My Thoughts: I liked this story and wanted to see how it turned out. I had a hard time liking the character of Claire initially. The author did a great job conveying her sadness to the readers. I also was heartbroken for Vera and her loss. The plot was what got most of my interest. I wasn’t quite sure how it would turn out. Ms. Jio is developing into quite a storyteller. I have not experienced loss like both these mothers did. I hope to know what it is like to have a family in my future. I do understand fighting for what is right and fighting for the right to tell a story that needs to be told. One aspect that is true about our culture is the class divide between the wealthy and the poor. These distinctions are not as true today as they were in the past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books i have read in a long time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually don't care for historical back and forth between present day, but loved this mix of romance and mystery. Plan to read all of Sarah Jio's books. Also, her covers are the prettiest around!