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Blackberry Winter

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  17,845 ratings  ·  2,179 reviews
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
Paperback, 286 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Plume (first published September 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,845 ratings  ·  2,179 reviews

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Sarah Jio
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it

When a late spring snowstorm (called a blackberry winter) hits Seattle in May 2010, Claire Aldridge - a feature writer for the Seattle Herald - is asked to write a story comparing the whiteout to a similar event that occurred in May 1933.

After researching the historical storm Claire decides to focus her article on Daniel Ray - a three-year-old boy who disppeared during the depression era snowfall.

Daniel's mother, Vera Ray, barely eked out a living as a maid at Seattle's Olympic Hotel.

Unable to
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kobo, favourites
I couldn't put this book down...really pulled at the heartstrings. This is one of my favourite story telling formats. The story goes back and forth in time to present day. In May of 1933, a boy goes missing in a freak snowstorm in Seattle. In present day Seattle there is another freak snowstorm in May. A reporter starts to research the 1933 snow storm and discovers the story about the missing boy. She sets out on a quest to find out what happened to him. ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Roll
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
This story intricately weaves the events surrounding the disappearance of a 3-year old boy (Daniel Ray) in 1933 with a journalist's (Claire Aldridge) search for answers in present day. There's a somewhat mystical element in how seemingly unrelated situations converge to help unravel the mystery. The transitions were done skillfully, using Claire's journey as a means for her to confront and face her own paralyzing grief.

I really enjoyed how the story was presented as much as the actual tale. The
Nov 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the style of writing very much, the story was well thought out although I guessed what happened right after the kidnap. But I didn't appreciate the sentimentality and the moral lessons. ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lovely, evocative writing by Sarah Jio, who weaves together two stories, with a freak Seattle snowstorm in May as the tying element. In 1933, single mom Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and goes to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She returns home to find her son missing. In 2010, Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, is assigned to write about the current storm and learns of the prior storm and the unsolved abduction. Claire doggedly pursues the story despite t ...more
Kayla Ashley
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Kerova Eli
May 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
i'm not crying you are ...more
Van Krishna
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 before...you've tried to assuage your curiosity and you were let down? But when it does deliver, you never look at the genre the ...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
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 e
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a quick read!! I became immersed in this book, and finished within a few days. I actually finished reading during lunch at work one day and had to try to control my emotions over frozen ravioli!

Vera Ray is struggling as a single mother to doe eyed baby Daniel. It's the 1930s and she goes to work one snowy night in May leaving Daniel home asleep in his bed, only to come home and find him missing. What happened to Daniel?

Present day- the city of Seattle is having another Blackberry Winter a
Sep 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Somewhere between 4-4.5/5.

Feel like some questions remained unanswered & the mystery part could've been executed better in my opinion. But it's a very emotional book & Ms Jio pulled this off very well, even made me cry at the end.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, november
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
Diane S ☔
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 What a heartfelt, poignant and bittersweet story. My favorite of hers so far, it is a combination of so many things, a mystery, characters trying to overcome a terrible grief and the horrible times after the great depression. Taking place in 1930 and in 2010 the story lines are related by the horrible and terrifying loss of children. A rather simple, quiet story told in a very relateable manner, the characters tug on your heart strings and although the ending is a bit pat it is fitting in th ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, romance
First of all, the title and the cover are amazing. Honestly that is what compelled me to add this to my to-read list. Beauty and simplicity go a long way. Of course, reading the synopsis sucked me in the rest of the way.
Spanning an eighty year period, this is the tale of two women who experienced a rare weather phenomenon called a blackberry winter.I had no idea there was such a thing, but basically it is a rare very late spring snow storm. In this story,it occurred in Seattle in late May.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
**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 that her gr
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, drama, fiction
Blackberry Winter encapsulates the heartbreaking stories of two women who lost their children in different time eras. Yet, their destinies are intertwined in such a mysterious way that you can’t set the book aside.

Sarah Jio’s fluent, mind-sticking writing style embedding metaphors makes the book easy to read.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I could not put it down because I had to know what was going to happen next. Sarah Jio is quickly becoming a favorite author, I love her writing style, she's an excellent storyteller. ...more
Just ok. I read Goodnight, June and was underwhelmed by it, but I saw so many people who were disappointed as well say that Blackberry Winter was so much better, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I’m still underwhelmed. Sarah Jio seems to whip out stories that could be Hallmark movies, which is fine if you’re watching a Hallmark movie. When it comes to my personal taste for books, though, it’s not something I enjoy. Everything wraps up so neatly, the characters are one dimensional, a ...more
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Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of WITH LOVE FROM LONDON, coming from Random House (Ballantine) 2/22, as well as seven other novels from Random House and Penguin Books, including, ALWAYS, ALL THE FLOWERS IN PARIS, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is a journalist who has contribute ...more

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