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Blackberry Winter Review

Sorry for the blogging delay lately...it's been a busy couple of weeks.  All is back on track, though, so the blogging continues!

I recently read Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio after deciding to jump on Peanut Butter Fingers monthly book club.  They read this in February and discussed it a couple of weeks ago.  This wasn't a quick read for me so needless to say, I'm a tad behind on this review.

I haven't read any of Jio's other novels, so I had no basis of what to expect although the reviews I read for Blackberry Winter were stellar and the book club picked it, so why not?! 

Summary
The book follows two female characters at very different times in history.  Vera Ray is a single mother in 1933 who we find struggling to make ends meet in order to care for her young son, Daniel.  Claire Aldridge is a wife and journalist in a marital struggle in 2010.  Claire is assigned to a story after an unusual snow storm occurs that parallels one in 1933 and, in the midst of her research, she discovers that a boy who went missing all those years ago was never found.  The reader quickly finds that both Claire and Vera are connected in more ways than one.

My Review - SPOILER ALERT!
The story bounces between both Vera and Claire's stories from chapter to chapter which I really liked.  However, I found myself struggling through the book until the last few chapters when everything was tying together.  It just wasn't a big page turner for me because it became clear pretty early on that both Vera and Claire were connected somehow.  So, I spent the rest of the book figuring out how and if my theories were correct!

Jio paints this beautiful portrait of what it is to be a mother and the strong bond that mothers have with their children.  She relays the deep feeling of loss that both Vera and Claire experience after losing a child.  I found such strength in both women who are grieving while also trying to continue on with their own lives.  Although loss can seem overwhelmingly crippling, that bond is forever there.

I wasn't surprised that somehow, Warren was deeply involved in this story and I didn't it shocking at all who he was.  I did love his character and jovial attitude.  I felt like he was just a sweet ole' grandpa who you could visit and talk with.  He had to be my favorite character for sure!

I was a bit frustrated with Claire and her husband, Ethan's relationship throughout the book.  I especially wasn't thrilled how, in the end, they ended up together as if nothing had happened.  I felt like we walked through a part of that marital struggle with them only for them to kiss and make up after all was said and done.  

All in all, I'd have to say it was a good book.  Not one of my favorites, but it kept me reading!  I'm interested in looking into Jio's other novels to check out more of her writing style.

Did you read Blackberry Winter? 
If so, what did you think?



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