Seattle, 1933. Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, good night and reluctantly leaves for work. She hates the night shift, but it’s the only way she can earn enough to keep destitution at bay. In the morning — even though it’s the second of May — a heavy snow is falling. Vera rushes to wake Daniel, but his bed is empty. His teddy bear lies outside in the snow.
I'm a big fan of Sarah Jio's previous books - "The Violets of March" and "The Bungalow" - so I was expecting big things from her latest book, "Blackberry Winter." And she did not disappoint!!!
I loved the parallel stories that run through this book - Vera's heartbreaking story of loss in the 1930s and Claire's equally heartwrenching one in the present day. Each woman had to deal with extenuating circumstances and fought to survivie the tragedy that marked their young lives so profoundly.
Sarah Jio's brilliant style of writing draws her readers into the heart of the story and bring to life the cast of characters so vividly that you almost feel that they are people that you have always known. And it is this creativity and expertise that is quickly propelling Sarah into becoming one of the shining stars of women's fiction.
I highly recommend anything written by Sarah Jio!
And by the way, a blackberry winter is when a snowstorm comes late in spring, and the blackberry vines are among those strong enough to survive the sudden storm. Kind of like the ladies of the story!
Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (a Library Journal Best Book of 2011), THE BUNGALOW, and THE LAST CAMELLIA (to be published on 5/28/13)–all from Penguin (Plume). A magazine writer and the health and fitness blogger for Glamour magazine, she has written thousands of articles for national magazines and newspapers including Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, Hallmark magazine, Seventeen, The Nest, Health, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, The Seattle Times, Parents, Woman’s Day, American Baby, Parenting, and Kiwi. She has also appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition.
My thanks to Plume Books for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.