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Review: Blackberry Winter

November 1, 2012

When a freak snowstorm hits Seattle in May, the editor of the newspaper discovers that it snowed on the same date in 1933.  He assigns reporter Claire Aldridge the task of writing a feature on the two storms.  Claire can’t figure out an angle for the story until she learns that three year old Daniel Ray went missing during the 1933 storm and was never found.  She is determined to find out what happened to him, even after her feature is cancelled, and the truth she uncovers is one that will impact her family and her marriage.

Blackberry Winter, by Sarah Jio relies on quite a few coincidences, but is written with such heart and emotion, it doesn’t matter.  In the hands of another author, I probably would have had trouble suspending disbelief but in Jio’s capable hands, I was able to roll with it and sit back and enjoy the story.

Claire had an accident the year before that she has never fully recovered from emotionally, and it’s affecting her job and her marriage.  Both she and her husband are making some poor decisions, so they’re not always likeable, but they are always sympathetic.  Even as I was urging Claire not to do something, I understood her motivation.

As I said, the plot relies heavily on several coincidences, but it still worked for me and I found the story to be compelling.  Even though I had an idea of how things were going to turn out, Jio has written just enough tension into the story to make me feel the need to be sure.  For me, Blackberry Winter was a quick, delightful read.  I recommend it to those who enjoy women’s fiction.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books for She Reads.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
37 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2012 5:27 am

    Wow, I guess I’m the only one in the blogisphere who hasn’t read this!!!

  2. sandynawrot permalink
    November 1, 2012 6:15 am

    No Jill I haven’t either! But I do have the book, I’m just really really behind on everything. I’ll get to it someday. Soon.

  3. November 1, 2012 6:22 am

    This sounds interesting… as that area of The Us is the only one I have ever visited, I’m very tempted to read it! I’ll let you know!

  4. Beth F permalink
    November 1, 2012 6:23 am

    You hit this one perfectly. I enjoyed the story despite the coincidences.

  5. November 1, 2012 6:26 am

    When you enjoy the book, that is the whole point of reading. Sounds another good one from this author.

  6. bookingmama permalink
    November 1, 2012 6:44 am

    So many coincidences — very true. I just chose to ignore that and not analyze the story too closely. It was still entertaining.

  7. November 1, 2012 6:51 am

    I can’t wait to read it. I completely agree with Mystica’s comment. 🙂

  8. November 1, 2012 6:56 am

    I’ve been meaning to try this one. The reviews have been pretty good thus far.

  9. kaye permalink
    November 1, 2012 7:19 am

    Just finished it last night and really enjoyed it despite the coincidences.

  10. November 1, 2012 7:48 am

    Excellent review. I need to get this book.

    THANKS, Kathy.

    Silver’s Reviews

  11. November 1, 2012 8:04 am

    I would like to read it. Enjoyed your review.

  12. November 1, 2012 8:59 am

    I bought this one last week. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  13. November 1, 2012 9:41 am

    I’ve heard so many things about this author and after reading your post, I’m thinking I should give her work a read. This one sounds so good!

  14. November 1, 2012 10:56 am

    Waiting to read this one, thanks for your review.

  15. November 1, 2012 11:12 am

    I’m planning to read this one next week!

  16. November 1, 2012 11:22 am

    Enjoying a book is still a big plus for me. Glad you did.

  17. November 1, 2012 11:27 am

    I agree with the coincidences but I did enjoy this book. Sarah Jio gives me such a warm feeling when reading her books.

  18. November 1, 2012 11:53 am

    You nailed it, Kathy. I loved it too, despite the coincidences. Definitely a “feel good” book, too.

  19. November 1, 2012 12:04 pm

    While I’ve also found that Jio’s books rely heavily on somewhat implausible coincidences, it takes talent indeed for me to not care about that — just as you mentioned! I’m definitely interested in grabbing this one, and I love the cover.

  20. November 1, 2012 12:09 pm

    Your review echoes my feelings — it was predictable but not unpleasantly so — and there’s something to be said in knowing what is going to happen but still watching (and enjoying) it unfold.

  21. November 1, 2012 12:11 pm

    Sounds really good. I love when an author is so skilled that you can overlook the unbelievable and all those coincidences and just sit back and enjoy.

  22. November 1, 2012 12:50 pm

    Good writing can cover a lot of book sins, can’t it? 😛

  23. November 1, 2012 12:57 pm

    Having grown up in Seattle I bet I would really enjoy this book!

  24. talesofwhimsy permalink
    November 1, 2012 2:45 pm

    So glad you liked it. I keep thinking I should try it.

    BTW, thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much sugar! My audio arrived today. That was so fast. *hugs*

  25. Patty permalink
    November 1, 2012 5:03 pm

    I kinda liked it, too!

  26. November 1, 2012 5:55 pm

    I can’t wait to read this! It’s good that the author made the coincidences work.

  27. November 1, 2012 6:53 pm

    I guess I’ll jump on the bandwagon and say it sounds entertaining and will put it on TBR list. thanks

  28. November 1, 2012 7:34 pm

    I’m in the middle of Blackberry Winter, figured out what was going to happen, checked the end to make sure, and am still enjoying the journey :p I do like Vera’s story better than Claire’s so far though…we’ll see 🙂

  29. November 1, 2012 9:53 pm

    I really want to love this one so I’ll have to overlook the coincidences!

  30. November 1, 2012 10:36 pm

    The premise reminds me of Sarah’s Key. I have yet to read Jio’s books but certainly plan to.

  31. November 1, 2012 11:38 pm

    Lovely review, Kathy! I like the sound of this one, and I think I’d enjoy reading Blackberry Winter.

  32. November 2, 2012 3:40 pm

    I really liked The Violets of March, so I’m looking forward to this one.
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  33. November 2, 2012 7:43 pm

    This does sound worthwhile, and the cover of the book is lovely too. Feel-good books are nice to have on hand over the holidays so I’ll keep it in mind.

  34. November 2, 2012 7:58 pm

    The author is new to me. I’m not sure it’s for me but I’d like to read the first chapter just to check it out.

  35. November 3, 2012 2:05 pm

    A women’s fiction reader I am not, but I really enjoyed the one Jio book I read. I’m looking forward to both this one and the other one I haven’t read yet. Yay – happy to see that you really liked this one despite the coincidences.

  36. November 3, 2012 7:51 pm

    I am going to be reading this one next week…love Jio and can’t wait!

  37. November 5, 2012 4:39 pm

    I agree. I knew where the story was going but it was still enjoyable.

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