I've been reading a lot this week, and one book I want to share with you is Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio. I enjoy Jio's books because you're always guaranteed a great story. You can read my review of The Bungalow here and Violets in March here.
Blackberry Winter is a combination love story and mystery presented in two different plots: one in the present and one during the Great Depression. The common element that bridges the decades is a late spring blizzard in early May, hence the title Blackberry Winter. In 1933, Vera Ray works the nightshift as a maid in Seattle's most luxurious hotel and returns home to find her son Daniel missing and his beloved Teddy Bear abandoned in the snow. In present-day Seattle, Claire Aldridge is asked by her editor to cover the freak snowstorm by writing a long human-interest piece. Claire's research uncovers the mystery of Vera's missing son, and there is a connection between Vera and Claire that is uncanny. One thing I loved about this books is that Claire is friends with Emily from Violets in March. I love it when writers give you a glimpse into the "happily ever after" of characters from previous books...so much fun! It was fun revisiting Emily, Jack, and even Aunt Bee. :D
Claire and her husband Ethan have also suffered loss, and if I have any criticism of the book it's that they are unkind and unsupportive to each other at first. Claire's research for the story doesn't help their relationship at all because it becomes all consuming and distracting. Ethan's involvement with a former girlfriend who's also an employee doesn't endear his character to the reader, either. But don't let this frustrate you if you read it because both characters develop and grow as the plot progresses.
I don't want to give away any plot spoilers, but if you enjoy a great story with vivacious characters combined with a historical backstory, then Sarah Jio's books are for you.
What have you been reading lately? This is a linky!
Until next time...