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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Blackberry Winter" by Sarah Jio ~ Won't Disappoint Her Fans!

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...
Published by:  Plume
Pages:  320
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Purchase this book:  Amazon

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.
Sarah has a degree in journalism and writes about topics that include food, nutrition, health, entertaining, travel, diet/weight loss, beauty, fitness, shopping, psychology, parenting and beyond. She frequently tests and develops recipes for major magazines.

Sarah is working on her fifth and sixth novels. In total, to date, Sarah’s books have been sold/translated for publication in 17 countries.

Sarah lives in Seattle with her husband, Jason, and their three young sons.
Please find her blog and more about her here:  Sarah Jio
This is a charming novel with a story that will keep you turning pages long into the evening.  Sarah Jio is a writer with her fingers on the pulse of the young American woman...particularly young homemakers, I would think.  Not a heavy novel with a dreary or difficult message to give, this book has a sweet note of love and redemption to deliver.  I thought it was a bit old-fashioned and bridging close to a romance novel, but it was enjoyable for a change of pace for me.
There isn't a lot of sophistication to Ms Jio's writing; however, it is beautiful in its own way.  It is simple and clear with a kindly storytelling manner.  Her characters are lovable and real, making one feel immediately sympathetic to their struggles.
Vera, the young, single mother who has difficulties with love and taking care of her child, is a wonderful character.  I fell in love with her from the start.  I couldn't help cringing at some of the things that happened to her, and smiling at some of the happy moments she shared with her little boy.  This is the power of Sarah Jio.  Her characters throughout the book are charming and captivating.  They engender emotional responses such as sadness, joy, laughter and tears.
We may have read similar stories to this one in other places and times, but rarely with the depth of compassion and feeling Jio enlists.  This book is sure to draw lots of readers who are familiar with her other books and writings.  She is a popular writer with a voice that appeals to a broad spectrum of readers.  I don't think they will be disappointed with "Blackberry Winter" at all.
4 stars for a good read with lovable characters                Deborah/TheBookishDame


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