my challenges

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blackberry Winter

Blackberry Winter, by Sarah Jio.

This book relates the intertwined stories of two different women:  The young, single mother whose son goes missing in the middle of a rare May blizzard (a "blackberry winter") in 1933 Seattle, and the present-day Seattle journalist who sets out to solve the mystery of the missing child during another rare May blizzard.

There are so many good things that I could say about this book.  I loved the characterization.  Every character was spot on and fully fleshed out.  Jio brought each new person I met to life in front of my eyes.  And the dialogue was pitch perfect as well -- never a word or phrase out of place, even when traversing back and forth between 1933 and the present.  In addition, she really evoked a clear image of Seattle and brought it to life in my mind, even though I have never personally been there.  Moreover, the story itself was fascinating and engaging, and I had no trouble at all devouring this book in two sittings.

One small criticism:  things seemed to be just a wee bit too convenient -- the building from which the boy disappeared just happening to be the same building that is owned by the journalist protagonist's friend; the protagonist just happening to get a package from a woman with the same unusual last name as the person she has just discovered to be a close friend of the missing boy and his mother, and that woman just happening to be the daughter of that close friend; the protagonist just happening to be introduced to a woman who's father, it turns out, was involved in the criminal trial involving the death of the missing boy's mother, and who has all of the information to solve the puzzle.  It became a bit unplausable after awhile that all of the pieces of the puzzle would just fall into the intrepid journalist's lap.  That one wee problem aside, this was a fantastic, fascinating story, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I can't wait to explore Jio's first book now!  I wholeheartedly recommend this book! 5.0

For honesty's sake, I hereby disclose that I obtained a digital review copy of this book from the publisher.  I appreciate the opportunity the publisher gave me.  However, the fact that I received this book as a digital review copy did not affect in any way my review of the book.

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