Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blackberry Winter” as Want to Read:
Blackberry Winter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blackberry Winter

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  7,807 ratings  ·  1,410 reviews
In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels--The Violets of MarchandThe Bungalow. WithBlackberry Winter--taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon--Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time.

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, D...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Plume
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blackberry Winter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blackberry Winter

Winter Garden by Kristin HannahLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Best Books to Read When the Snow Is Falling
6th out of 838 books — 1,238 voters
The Forgotten Garden by Kate MortonThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe House at Riverton by Kate MortonThe Distant Hours by Kate MortonThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Best Past-Present Books
41st out of 252 books — 348 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sarah Jio
Feb 09, 2012 Sarah Jio rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
This is a very special novel to me. I dedicated it to my three young sons, and to mothers everywhere who have lost children. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it! xo
Vera Ray works hard and long hours at her hotel cleaning job in Seattle, but working comes at a cost when she is forced to leave her three year old son, Daniel at home alone. One morning she returns home after a tiring shift to find, Daniel's bed empty. Frantically, Vera searches everywhere for Daniel, but it seems he can't be found anywhere. Has Daniel wandered off or has someone taken him?

Claire is a newsreporter who has a troubled marriage and a past that still haunts her. A strange snowstorm...more
Hmm - hard to review this book. I liked the story - I read it quickly - and I wanted to know what happened. But the whole thing read to me like a soap opera. The characters all seemed cliched to me, and sort of one note. The dialogue was overblown - people don't really talk like that - especially from the older characters in the book. The actions of the characters didn't always ring true, or seem believable, and sometimes small details didn't track, which was distracting. The whole thing just se...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kayla Ashley
I won this book from a first reads giveaway here on goodreads!

I was so excited when I found out I won a copy of this book through the first reads program here on goodreads! I was even more excited once I started reading this book and got swept up in the amazing mystery! This book was an amazing read that did not disappoint.

This book alternates between two points of view: Vera in the 1930's and Claire in present day Seattle. Sarah Jio is an excellent storyteller - she weaves together two differe...more
Blackberry Winter was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Penguin Group (USA).

Two stories with years separating them are more intertwined than one might think…

May 1, 1933...
Vera Ray works the nightshift as a maid at a hotel in Seattle. A snow storm has blown in during the night; strange with how late in the year it is. When she kisses her three year old son Daniel goodbye she doesn't know that when she returns he won't be there waiting for her.

'Two snowstorms, sharing one calendar date, sep...more
Van Krishna
I'm grateful to goodreads, for without it, I don't think I would have discovered this masterpiece. You know how sometimes you find a title so intriguing that you can't help but read the synopsis (even if it's not in your favorite genre) and out of no where, you find yourself reading the book? Wondering if the book would deliver on it's premise because you've done this've tried to assuage your curiosity and you were let down? But when it does deliver, you never look at the genre the...more
Borrowed from the Pikes Peak Library District

I can NOT remember what compelled me to borrow this book - not just borrow it but I wait-listed it. All I can say is UGH.

I need to stop reading books that I know are NOT in my favorite genres. This is one. Pathetic and predictable. I read some reviews that marveled at the "twist ending" but I saw it coming a mile away.

The main character and her husband are falling apart from each other in a landslide kind of way. She lost her baby while jogging when...more
Blackberry Winter has a little bit of everything, historical fiction, mystery and romance. The story is told from two different time periods, that of a young single mother Vera and her son Daniel in Seattle in 1933 during the Great Depression and Claire Aldridge, a reporter in Seattle in 2010. The ‘blackberry winter’ which occurred in both 1933 and 2010 leads Claire to uncover the story of Daniel’s disappearance when he was three years old.

This is a quick and easy read. The prose is light and en...more
Jan 18, 2013 Roxanne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
This book was abysmal! The only reason I'm giving it 2 stars instead of one is because I actually read to the end - I'll save the 1 star rating for books I don't finish.

Let's start off with what initially attracted me to "Blackberry Winter". I love the cover, and the blurb on the back sounded interesting. I was expecting an intelligent read with everything I've come to expect from that genre that Amazon calls "Literary Fiction". I guess that's why I shouldn't judge a book by its cover!

What else...more
Laura Kay Bolin

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 sh...more
Jen Tucker
I was so moved by this brilliantly executed novel by Sarah Jio, that I read it in one setting. Unfortunately for me, this reading session began at 2AM, so if you have insomnia and are trying to relax to find slumber, chose a different book because this one will take you in! Claire, a reporter for a prominent newspaper, is asked to cover the late spring snowfall in Seattle, and any interesting finds from another Blackberry Winter snowfall that occurred in 1933 on the same date. When she uncovers...more
**SPOILER ALERT** The story started out well. I like how it was 2 different stories that were merging & it was fun that it was set in Seattle. But it ended up being predictable and too cookie-cutter.

Vera Ray & Daniel's story was interesting and it was easy to fall in love with Daniel. But how their story connected with Claire's was interesting but too corny at the same time.

I personally think it would've been upsetting after all the long hours of research Claire did to then realize tha...more
The author of this book wrote to me to tell me my review was of the wrong book. She is absolutely correct. I am not a seasoned computer user and the review I wrote for this book was really for Whatever Happened to Sophie Wilder? I am so sorry for the confusion. This book - Blackberry Winter -- is on my list to be read.

Well, now I have finally read it. The story has a parallel plot of two women, one who lived in 1933 and one who lives in the present. They both experience a Blackberry Winter. The...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney Foster
First I should say Sarah Jio is one of my favorite authors at the moment. She writes so lyrically and makes mysteries interesting and is engrossing to read. This book hit me so hard and I think as a parent who lost a child in a similar way Claire did so I literally felt her pain and understood her journey. I loved the story and while I predicted much of what was happening it was a beautiful read and it made me happy, sad and vulnerable through out.
Blackberry Winter was recommended to me. I tried Sarah Jio's first book, and didn't care for her writing, but thought I'd give her another try. It was a quick read, and I finished it, which pretty good for how little I actually enjoyed it.

This is a mystery with very little mystery. Every clue or new piece of information seemed to be such a coincidence, but each "twist" and "turn" was really predictable. The characters the protagonist meets are too convenient to helping her in her story - she jum...more
Interesting story, although it tied up a bit too neatly/preciously at the end and the ending seemed quite rushed. (Deadline?) I enjoyed the parallel narratives of the two women and liked the slow unfolding of the mystery and the revelation of how the two women's lives intertwined. I can't give it a higher rating though because the quality of the writing is not great. Phrases along the lines of, "Love oozed from their every fingertip" are pretty bad.

Some of the characters seemed a little flat. C...more
I was really looking forward to reading this book; the reviews I read were positive and the "blurbs" I read were enticing. However, once I started reading, I was quickly disenchanted. In my opinion, the writing and dialogue was amateurish. Events fell together too neatly to be believable and plot lines were too neatly wrapped up. When I was approximately one half of the way through the book, I wasn't sure I could finish; however, I did keep going and finished the book. I'm glad I know how everyt...more
Sercan Çelik
Vay canına ya bu kadar müthiş bir kitap olacağına asla düşünmemiştim.O kadar akıcı bir kitap ki hiç zorlanmadan okunabilir ve hikaye çok çarpıcı ilk sayfadan aldı beni içine. Ve o son çok etkileyiciydi gerçekten hemen yazarın diğer kitaplarını da almayı planlıyorum.
I had only read one other book written by author Sarah Jio before this one and I wasn't blown away, but after seeing a goodreads friend's rating/review (Thanks Myrna!), I added Blackberry Winter to my list. I'm so glad I did! This is a mix of women's fiction/chick-lit, mystery, romance, and historical fiction, with two very moving past/present alternating storylines. The "past" storyline takes place in the Depression-era and centers on Vera Ray, a single mother struggling with poverty. The "pres...more
Blackberry Winter
Sarah Jio

My "in a nutshell" summary...

Claire...who lives in the present...becomes involved in solving a mystery that took place in the past.

My thoughts after reading this book...

I found this to be a sad sweet andsoulful book. The tragedy that Claire experienced recently sort of draws her in to finding out what happened to Vera and her son Daniel earlier in the century. I loved the alternating voices. I loved the connection that Claire felt to Vera and Daniel. I loved the myst...more
Story Description:

Plume|September 25, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-452-29838-5

In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels – The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter – taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon – Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time.

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work...more
Heather (Kindles & Wine Book Blog)
Review and author interview posted on Kindles & Wine

One evening, I was well immersed in the Book Divorce stage of reading this book (in other words, I become like the monkeys – I see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing). :) I quickly shoved some spaghetti squash in the oven for dinner and headed out to the porch with my Kindle.

About 15 minutes later, The Husband comes home and comments about how good it smells and asks when “whatever that is” will be done. Without a care for what the oven...more
I liked it well enough, but I predicted some of the direction it was headed, and I hate that! (While we all love being right, I think most of us better enjoy unexpected twists in our reads to keep us lured into time wharp DEAR time). Overall, this was a quick read (40 pages Sun, then read over lunch at work today, and all evening until I finished!) . It has some mystery, suspense, drama, history and romance all wrapped up in the storyline. The "cast" is developed to an appropriate level - enough...more
Loved this book! Others might not agree with my 5 star rating but I'm sticking to it.

heart photo: My heart 0esakQ2Uh_zps35d67e73.gif

This is my first Sarah Jio book and I think she is an exceptional writer. She tied the past, 1930's, and the present brilliantly. The topic broke my heart and feel for mothers everywhere that have dealt with a missing child. Don't want to spoil the book but you might need tissues when reading it.

tissues photo: Tissues Tissues.gif

It's a quick read that this reader could not put down. I will definetly read her other books.
Carol Brill
I'd rate this more a 3.5. Good writing and an intriguing intertwined plot. The story unfolds, moving back and forth between Claire a modern day reporter, and Vera, a depression era single mom. The plot twists are engaging, even if a bit convenient.
This is my first Sarah Jio novel. I'd be interested to hear where fans rate this one compared to some others.
Sunya Jones
Read about this book in Real Simple Magazine. Had it ordered the day it came out Aug 25th. Finished in 2 days. Blackberry Winter (love the term) is an old fashion weather term for a late-season cold snap, snow storm. The story goes back and forth between a Blackberry Winter in 1933 to the present day with a mystery love twist. Wonderful read.
Gina Beirne
Another 5-star book from Sarah Jio who has an amazing ability to blend two storylines in one novel--one in the past and one in the present.

Perk of being a librarian = being a member of NetGalley and reading ARCs
Downside of reading ARCs = having to wait that much longer for a favorite author's NEXT book

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Did you feel it was predictable? 15 133 Jul 16, 2014 05:38PM  
Words & Wine: December BOM - Blackberry Winter 26 19 Apr 13, 2014 07:28PM  
Coffee Talk: Buddy Read with Cheryl 33 12 Mar 15, 2013 07:47PM  
  • Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
  • Lighthouse Bay
  • Sea Change
  • Man in the Blue Moon
  • The First Lie
  • The Girl on the Cliff
  • The Meryl Streep Movie Club
  • How I Came to Sparkle Again
  • How Lucky You Are
  • Girl Unmoored
  • In Between Days
  • The Baker's Daughter
  • Every Secret Thing (Kate Murray, #1)
  • The River Witch
  • The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns
  • The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
  • Looking for Me
  • Next to Love
Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST CAMELLIA, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (a Library Journal Best Book of 2011), THE BUNGALOW, and the forthcoming, MORNING GLORY (11/26/13), all from Penguin/Plume. Sarah is also the former health and fitness blogger for She has written thousands of articles for national magazines including Redbook, O, The Oprah M...more
More about Sarah Jio...
The Violets of March The Bungalow The Last Camellia Morning Glory Goodnight June

Share This Book

“It's just old black-and-whites,' she had said, flicking her wrist in the way one might dismiss a pile of junk mail. 'Relatives nobody remembers.' 'No,' I said, running to the box. 'Don't throw them out. I'll keep them.' I may not have known the names of the majority of the ancestors pictured inside, but it felt like a betrayal to send their memories to the landfill. I couldn't bear the thought.” 3 likes
More quotes…