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Blackberry Winter

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  14,676 ratings  ·  1,955 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
...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Plume (first published September 1st 2012)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,676 ratings  ·  1,955 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
Jessica
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
Kait
Nov 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonetta
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
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Kelly Roll
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara
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
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Sharon
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
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elaynne
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
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Roxanne
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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Ivi
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
4 stars although the storytelling was almost perfect, I didn't find the characters worthy, they were a total mess... :)
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
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Skip
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
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
Bonnie
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
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Noeleen
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 en
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Annie-Rose
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
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Raquel
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
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Britany
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
...more
Ana
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.
Melodie
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, mystery
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.
Ver
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Amy
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 tha
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Lisa
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
Diane
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
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Laura Kay Bolin
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
http://anovelreview.blogspot.com/2012...

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
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Lesley
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
Interesting a suspenseful take of what happened to the missing child all those years ago. At times the dialogue seemed unreal but the actual story pushed me through to the end.
Book of Secrets
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I'm about to read an emotional story when the book's dedication makes me cry. BLACKBERRY WINTER was both heartbreaking and uplifting, so have a box of tissues handy when you read it!

A blackberry winter is an old-fashioned term used to describe a late spring snowfall, which is what happens at the beginning of this book. Reporter Claire Aldridge awakens on May 2nd to find Seattle covered under a blanket of snow. At work, she is assigned to do a story on the storm, and an identical one that
...more
Jennifer
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
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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2,868 followers
Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of ALWAYS, published by Random House (Ballantine), as well as seven other novels from Penguin Books, including, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, ...more
“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.” 5 likes
“Sometimes you just have to take chances, especially when it makes you happy.” 3 likes
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