Hey guys! Instead of a regular post today, I’m going to take this opportunity to review a book I read recently as part of Peanut Butter Finger’s book club. Each month Julie selects a book for us to read, and this month we were lucky enough to read Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio.
After waking up to discover a freak snowstorm has hit her Seattle apartment in the beginning of May, reporter Claire Aldrige gets assigned to write about a similar spring snowstorm (also called a blackberry winter) that occurred in Seattle exactly 77 years prior.
At first Claire is hesitant to write the story – thinking it will be a waste of time and not part of her normal news beat – but after sifting through the newspaper archives from the first storm in 1933, she stumbles upon a heart-wrenching story that captures her interest. Claire learns that during that first blackberry winter, a three-year old boy went missing and was never seen again. Claire had recently lost a child herself during a tragic running accident, and the story instantly touched her heart. At that point Claire made it her mission to write the story and figure out what happened to the little boy who disappeared in the first snowstorm.
The book bounces back forth from Claire’s perspective as she tries to solve the mystery of the missing little boy, to the first snowstorm in 1933 when the boy’s mother Vera tries in vain to search for him.
It’s a truly touching story about the lengths that mothers will go to to care for their children, and we get to see that Vera will literally do anything to find her son. We get to see the pain she feels at having lost him; a pain that Claire shares at having lost her baby. Eventually Claire unravels the story and we get to see what happened to Vera and her missing son.
When Julie posted the choices for this month’s book club, I was thrilled when I saw that one of the options was a book by Sarah Jio. I recently read another one of her books, Violets of March, and could not put it down. I was really excited when Julie announced that we’d be reading another one of Jio’s stories for this month’s book club.
Like Violets of March, Blackberry Winter did not disappoint! The whole time I was so excited to find out what happened to the little boy who went missing and I kept turning page after page. Some parts foreshadowed a bit too much, but I didn’t really mind. I think I finished this book in about five days and I was so sad when it was over (not because of the story, but because I truly enjoyed reading it).
I think Sarah Jio is becoming one of my new favorite authors and I will definitely keep an eye out for her books from now on. This one was great!
Questions of the day: If you read this book, what did you think of the ending? What did you think about the relationship between Claire and her husband? Did you like the way those events unfolded?