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Blackberry Winter: A Novel Audible – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 483 customer reviews

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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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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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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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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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