Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Review: Blackberry Winter

One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is grab a cup of coffee in the morning and read for a few hours on the couch.

This weekend, the book of choice was Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio.  This is the book for PB Finger's Book Club this month.
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I'll be honest: when this book won the vote, I was a little disappointed. The synopsis made it sound a lot like The Secret Keeper, and I had a tough time getting through that one last month.  I thought it would take me a while to get through the book, and I sort of dreaded reading it.

I was incredibly wrong about that!

The book opens in Seattle, Washington in May 1933 when a snowstorm hits the city.  Vera comes home from work and finds that her three-year-old son, Daniel is missing.  Fast forward eighty years later to a similar snowstorm that hits Seattle on the same day in May.  Claire, a reporter for the Seattle Hearld, is writing a story about the two storms and uncovers the story of Daniel's disappearance.  In her research to uncover what really happened to Vera and Daniel, she finds that she is linked to Vera in some unexpected ways.

One thing I love about this book is that it develops the story and the characters through dialogue.  I find it much easier to read a novel with lots of dialogue as opposed to lengthy descriptions of the characters and their background.  I flew through this book because I was really interested in the characters and in solving the mystery of Daniel's disappearance.

The chapters alternate between Vera telling her story and Claire telling about her life and her research into the snowstorm of 1933.  I thought it added a lot to the novel having Vera explain her thoughts, feelings, and emotions as she looked for her son.

I also really loved the outcome of this book.  I was able to piece together the mystery, but there were still some twists along the way in Vera and Daniel's story.  I was also really intrigued by Claire's personal life throughout the novel, and I wanted to know how things would turn out for her.  I was very pleased with the way things turned out.

I would highly recommend Blackberry Winter!  It's an easy read (I finished the whole book in about three sittings!) and an interesting story.  I enjoyed it so much, that I'm actually going to look in to reading other books that Sarah Jio has written.

Questions for you: Have you read Blackberry Winter?  If so, did you prefer Vera's chapters or Claire's chapters?  If not, how would you deal with the disappearance of your child?

I really liked the chapters told from both perspectives, but if I had to pick, I think I'd pick Claire's.  I identified with her as a person more.

If my (future) child disappeared, I don't think I would stop looking for them until I knew what happened to them.  I probably would do just about anything, much like Vera, to try to find them.

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