Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blackberry Winter

Title:  Blackberry Winter
Author:  Sarah Jio
Publication Information:  Penguin Group. 2012. 290 pages.

Book Source:  I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program free of cost in exchange for an honest review. The book arrived as a softcover advance uncorrected proof.

Favorite Quote:  "That's the thing about secrets - they always do find their way. Even if it takes a lifetime."

A blackberry winter is an expression used to describe a cold spell in late spring when the blackberry bushes are blooming. In this case, it refers to two snow storms in May about 80 years apart.

Claire Aldridge is a newspaper reporter assigned to write a human interest story about a storm in 2010. She discovers that a similar storm occurred in 1933. While researching to find an "angle" for her story, she reads about the disappearance of a child during the 1933 storm. Vera Bradley was single mother who came home from work on the morning of that storm and found her three year old son Daniel missing. The mystery of the disappearance was never solved.

The books weaves back and forth between Claire's story and research and Vera's story. Slowly, similarities and connections emerge. The connections continue to build coming to a shared conclusion to both stories.

Claire's story - of her marriage, of the loss of her child - is an interesting one. Vera's story - of love and of single parenthood - is also interesting. The connections between the two, however, create too neat a package. Everything seems to come together piece by piece very conveniently. Unfortunately, that removes some of the "genuineness" of the two individual stories and makes it seem somewhat contrived. It is an okay book, but not great for that reason. Fun to read while it lasts, but not memorable.

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