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Blackberry Winter: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Jio
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (431 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.01 (47%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

From acclaimed novelist Sarah Jio, a new “mystery-slash-love story [that] will have you racing to the end”

Seattle, 1933. Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and reluctantly leaves for work. She hates the nightshift, 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.

Seattle, present day. On the second of May, Seattle Times reporter, Claire Hanson, awakens to another late-season snowstorm. Assigned to cover this “blackberry winter” and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel’s unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth—only to discover that she and Vera are linked in unexpected ways.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sarah Jio's writing is exquisite and engrossing."--Elin Hilderbrand, bestselling author of Silver Girl

"A Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2012" ... "This novel will enchant Jio's fans and make them clamor for her next offering."--Kirkus

"Terrific ... compelling ... An intoxicating blend of mystery, history and romance, this book is hard to put down."--REAL SIMPLE

"Engaging ... enticing ... [A] fascinating exploration of love, loss, scandal, and redemption."--Publisher's Weekly


Praise for The Violets of March:
Library Journal Best of 2011: Core Fiction
“Feed the kids before you settle in with journalist Sarah Jio’s engrossing first novel, The Violets of March. This mystery-slash-love story will have you racing to the end—cries of ‘Mom, I’m hungry!’ be damned.” - Redbook
“A gem . . . True escape fiction that can take you away.” - WGBH-TV 





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

Book Description

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...



Product Details

  • File Size: 631 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1 Original edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081KZ8BM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,280 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't read it fast enough! September 25, 2012
Format:Paperback
A crazy snowstorm blankets Seattle in May, but it's not the first time. A fluke snowstorm fell in May of 1933 too and the editor of The Herald wants Claire Aldridge to write a feature article about the May storms--about Blackberry Winter.

During Claire's research of the storm of '33, she finds a newspaper article about Vera and her three year old son who went missing. Vera was a young maid at a high end hotel and had left her son home alone at night while she worked. Authorities believed her three year old, Daniel, ran away during the snowstorm. Claire doesn't believe it for a minute and wonders what happened to Daniel? Were mother and son ever reunited?

Claire's own life is in shambles, but this story seems to ignite a fire in her she thought was gone. Can she solve the mystery? Can there be a happily ever after? Can Claire find her way again?
Once again Sarah Jio proves she has the amazing ability to transport her readers into not one, but two stories in two different times.

I fell in love with poor Vera. A young mother alone in the world struggling to make ends meet. As I read along, I was cheering Claire on wanting her to hurry and solve the mystery of Daniel. I wanted a happy reunion! It wasn't just me who wanted the mystery solved, but it was as if Mother Nature herself was demanding resolution with the return of the Blackberry Winter.

Claire too has suffered a devastating loss. Her marriage is on the brink. For the first time in a long while, Emily begins to come alive but it just might be too late for her old life.
If you read Sarah's first book The Violets of March, you'll be as thrilled as I was to learn Emily and Jackson make an appearance in Blackberry Winter.

While reading, I had numerous "goosebump" moments! Love those.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly compelling read! September 25, 2012
Format:Paperback
As a reporter for the Seattle Herald, Claire Aldridge will stop at nothing in order to get the job done. Now if only she could figure out how to make use of that tenacity to resolve the issues in her marriage. Married to Ethan Kensington, the managing editor of the newspaper, their relationship is more than just a union between two lovers. It's a balancing act between business and pleasure which has become a very challenging situation for both to handle.

Back in 1933, single mom Vera Ray experiences many of the same insecurities in her personal relationships as Claire. Rearing a three-year-old boy during the Great Depression is harrowing, especially having to leave him alone while working the nightshift at a grand hotel. One evening in May, an unforeseen late-season snow storm blankets the city. Upon Vera's return from work, she discovers her son Daniel is missing.

May 2011, an unseasonal winter storm hits Seattle and Claire has been assigned to cover this "blackberry winter" phenomenon. Thankful for the diversion from her personal woes, Claire jumps in focusing her energy on this amazing topic. While researching the piece, the story of Daniel Ray's unsolved abduction comes across Claire's desk. Feeling a mysterious connection to Vera Ray, she vows to find the truth behind baby Daniel's disappearance.

Blackberry Winter is the third novel by the superbly talented writer Sarah Jio. Her gift of adeptly connecting the past with the present to create such a poignant story sets her apart as a truly noteworthy author. By sharing her own personal story in the Author's Notes, divulging to her readers the meaning of "Blackberry Winter," she forges an everlasting bond between her tale and this uncommon weather event. Just like the rarity of a spring snow storm, a novel such as this only comes along once in a lifetime.
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88 of 100 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Spoilers Here--Totally Predictable Novel October 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this novel to my Kindle after a recommendation in a magazine (can't recall which) sparked my interest. I love a good flip-flop back and forth in time mystery novel. As a mother, I was drawn to the story of the disappearance of a little boy in the 1930s and the present-day reporter who would solve the case. LOVE this idea, but this novel was so disgustingly predictable that I quit reading it. I have probably thrown down maybe 10 books over the years that I refuse to read any further (and I have read a lot of books), this was one of them. The storyline could have been used to the full advantage, but it's not. It's trite and overused and formulaic and just unbelievable as the "mysterious" pieces keep falling into place. The reporter just seems to get every clue handed to her, she hardly has to dig. She just turns up for coffee at the place where the boy and his mother lived in the 1930s. She happens upon clues so easily, there's no mystery, no suspense. If you're a heavy reader, you'll see through this one in no time flat. Disappointing.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many coincidences to ring true October 8, 2012
Format:Paperback
When I first read the plot description on this book, I felt it sounded like a good read. I'm not familiar with the author, but I gave it a shot. Honestly, it was too contrived to be at all believeable. the plot would go along and then another coincidence...then another...then another. It really felt too fake for my taste.

I really thought tying a current early May storm in Seattle to a storm almost 100 years ago to the day was a very interesting plot. But then the coincidences start and the contrived events, misunderstandings, characters who are adults but act more like teens, etc. Don't these people ever TALK to one another? I know the main couple had a tragedy, but a year later they still don't, won't talk about it.

Couldn't recommend this. I took it with me on a trip and was glad I had other books with me, too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like her books a light read ....and keeps you coming back for more
Published 6 days ago by Diane H.
1.0 out of 5 stars it is going to be a good read.no...a bad read
just started this book,and I can tell already, it is going to be a good read. I guess that I had not read enough when I wrote the last few sentences..... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Anne Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book!
Published 21 days ago by Chris O.
5.0 out of 5 stars but this is by far my favorite.
I have read several of her books, but this is by far my favorite.
Published 25 days ago by Red Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this book.
Published 1 month ago by Gwen Dorman
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading
This is an Interesting story with a few twists in the plot, light reading, read it in a few days.
Published 1 month ago by Ter K
5.0 out of 5 stars a mix of women's fiction/chick-lit, mystery, romance, and historical...
I had only read one other book written by author Sarah Jio before this one and I wasn't blown away, but after seeing a goodreads friend's rating/review. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer
2.0 out of 5 stars predictable
Story was a little stilted
characters were not as developed as I like. Joyce Maynard s are more believable
did resolve all problems
Published 1 month ago by randad
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting author that never disappoints
This book was fantastic, and I was so excited to see the story wrapped into characters I met and loved in The Violets of March. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bridget m
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Easy reading going back and forth in time, building to a not-so-surprising conclusion. Pleasant summer reading.
Published 1 month ago by Lilac Lover
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More About the Author

Sarah Jio is the international, USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (a Library Journal Best Book of 2011 and a USA Today bestseller), THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER (an instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller, as well as an international bestseller), THE LAST CAMELLIA (a Kirkus Books Most Anticipated Book of 2012), MORNING GLORY, and GOODNIGHT JUNE (to be published in June 2014)--all from Penguin (Plume). To date, Sarah's novels are published in 24 countries, including Italy, France, Brazil, Turkey (where two of Sarah's books have become nationwide bestsellers), Slovenia, Russia, China, Norway, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, and many others.

A magazine writer and the former founding health and fitness blogger for Glamour magazine, Sarah has written thousands of articles and blog posts for national magazines including Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, Hallmark magazine, Seventeen, BRIDES, Health, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, The Seattle Times, Parents, Woman's Day, American Baby, Parenting, and many others. She has also appeared as a commentator on NPR's Morning Edition.

Sarah recently finished her seventh novel and is at work on her next. She lives in Seattle and is the mother of three young sons.

The slightly more informal bio:

1978-1983: The blissful childhood years. Pigtails. French braids. Bunny rabbits. Warm, chocolate chip cookies. Blackberry picking. Saltwater sandals. Magical Christmases. Trips to Disneyland. Dress up. Swingsets. Bossing around younger siblings. Slip 'n Slides and kiddie pools. Shenanigans.

1983-1988: The jelly bracelet and Keds years. Wrote first book, titled "A Tug Boat's Dream." Leggings with long sweaters and belts. Hypercolor T-shirts. Pink boom boxes. Monarch butterflies. Norwegian dancing. Sleepovers. Cabbage Patch dolls. Lisa Frank stickers. Rollerskating at the rink. Little House on the Prairie. Experimental hairstyles, including feathered bangs and the poodle perm. Best friend moves away. Wishing on stars. First crushes. All details recorded in diary, read by little brother.

1988-1993: The hair-flipping years. Boys. Gap sale rack. Junior high angst. Rollerblading. Tennis. More bad hair. Survive California earthquake. Find a message in a bottle. Ate a lot of fettuccine alfredo. Move into new house. Babysitters Club. Italian sodas at the mall.

1993-1996: The band groupie years. Mohawked boyfriend. Broken heart. Cut hair to a short pixie and dye platinum blond. Church camps. Boys. Private school. Grounded. Tennis. Mexico. Debate team. Green 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. Grounded. Nancy Drew. Safeway. Banana Boat suntan lotion. Starbucks. Daydreaming.

1996-2000: The college years. Journalism. Character-building. Deadlines. Expeditions to Canada. Three part-time jobs. Date football player, Calvin Klein underwear model. Summers in Alaska. First apartment in Seattle. IKEA. Stan Getz. Soul searching.

2000-2005: The busy years. Get married (finish a magazine deadline the night before wedding). Honeymoon in Tahiti. Buy house. Remodel house. Become fanatical about gardening. Become doggie mama to Paisley the golden retriever who digs up prized garden. Go to a cooking class in Provence and spend two nights solo in Paris. Write a zillion magazine articles. Open a bottle of champagne when I see my name in O, The Oprah Magazine. Write first book. Do not sell first book (blessing in disguise). Beloved grandfather dies. Baby fever. Nesting.

2005-2013: The babies and books years. Buy another house. Remodel kitchen. Wash dishes in bathtub. Became a regular contributor to Glamour. First baby born. Colic. No sleep. Crying. Organic baby food. Balance. Magazines deadlines. Second baby arrives. Write new novel. Beloved grandma dies. Sign with literary agent. Sell novel at auction in U.S., and later in 14 countries. Sell second novel. Third baby arrives. Level of chaos in home explodes. Sign with film agent. Interview Gwyneth Paltrow (on the phone, while nursing a baby), Maya Angelou, and others. Sell third and fourth novels. Go on book tour. With a baby. Three boys under the age of six. Drink a lot of coffee, and sometimes wine. Buy new house. Dream of huge refrigerator and office with doors that lock. Write fifth novel, sixth and seventh. Take boys to Disneyland. Long runs. Big dreams. Health. New chapters. Grateful.

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