Blackberry Winter

You know those rare books that get into your heart and you find yourself thinking about the characters, long after you’ve finished reading?

Blackberry Winter was one of those books for me.

I was looking for a new book after reading The Handmaid’s Tale and I’ve realized that it’s easier for me to write when I’m currently reading something. It helps me remember some of the words I seem to lose through baby brain ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even though I only have a few minutes before bed each night, it’s a great way to unwind from the day.ย 

I downloaded Blackberry Winter, as I’ve read and loved another one of Sarah Jio’s novels (Violets of March– couldn’t put it down, and as soon as I finished, my mom, nana and aunt all read it). As you guys know, I don’t do well with suspense and often find myself googling the end of books, just to decide if I want to finish reading it. Well, the interesting thing about Blackberry Winter is that it involves a tragedy, but it happens in the beginning. (No spoilers here- don’t worry!)

Table 1

The book begins in the 1930s, in a rare late-season cold snap: a Seattle snowstorm in May. These types of storms are referred to as “Blackberry Winters.” Vera Ray, a poor single mom, works as a cleaner in the Olympia hotel and must leave her 3-year old son Daniel at home while she works the night shift. When she returns, the apartment is empty. Daniel is gone, and the only trace of him is his abandoned teddy bear in the snow.ย 

Fast-forward to modern day (2010), and the same late-season snowstorm occurs, on the exact same calendar day. Reporter Claire Aldridge is asked to write a piece covering the two storms, and discovers the story of the missing boy and how the case was never solved. She’s determined the connect the missing pieces and in her quest, uncovers surprising information.

The story switches between past and present, the occurrences during the two storms, and the two women, who are intertwined by coincidence and tragedy.ย While reading, I felt my heart break for Vera. To read about her loss so vividly really affected me, as I couldn’t imagine the devastation of losing a child. As I continued to read, all of the questions I had were answered, and even though I predicted much of the ending, a special twist at the end blidsighted me and brought all of the pieces together so beautifully.

I especially love Sarah’s style of writing. It’s lyrical and engrossing, and made me want to continue reading as long as I could. So much in fact that I finished the book in 2 days- a post-baby reading record for me. It’s THAT good.ย ย 

What are you reading right now?

My newest Kindle download:

Proof of heaven

Has anyone read it??

See ya on the Fashion page with a giveaway <3



New Family post: Baby Coconutย 


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  1. mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on December 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Blackberry Winter is on my Christmas break reading list!

  2. Andrea on December 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I read blackberry winter over thanksgiving break….such a great book!

  3. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on December 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for the book recommendation! I recently finished a great book series and have been struggling to find something that actually interests me. I’ll definitely be checking this book out.

  4. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I really want to read Proof of Heaven. It sounds amazing! Ill definitely be putting that on my nook for holiday break reading.

  5. Abby @ Change of Pace on December 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Sounds like a great read- thanks for sharing! I’ll add it to my book club suggestion list.
    I’m currently reading Honolulu by Alan Brennert. I read his book Molokai (about a young Hawaiian girl who was sent to Molokai when she found a leperous spot at a really young age) and loved it so thought I’d give this one a try, too. I think I liked Molokai better, but Honolulu is amazing so far!

  6. Jenn on December 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Sarag Jio has one other book “The Bungalow.” I have it ready to start today! LOVED her other 2 books:)

  7. Katie@ skinnyminniemoves on December 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Just finished Kristin Hannah Night Road. So great!

  8. Katie@ skinnyminniemoves on December 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Just finished Kristin Hannah Night Road. So great!

  9. Herbivore Triathlete on December 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I am currently reading the 5th book in the Game of Thrones series.

    This book sounds like a great read though and will be added to my nook for sure. Thanks for the review.

  10. Kara on December 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I just finished reading “Blackberry Winter” last night and loved it! You should def read Sarah Jio’s other book called “The Bungalow.” It’s set during WWII and also switches between past and present. It’s another quick and awesome read!

    • Fitnessista on December 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      i’ll have to download that one!

      • jen on December 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

        yes loved the bungalow, I read violets of march after you posted about it and I loved it so much when the bungalow came out I knew I had to read it, I finished blackberry winter last week and also read it in 2 days and could not stop thinking about it. Her next book comes out in may and I can’t wait to read it love her writing style!

  11. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on December 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I want to read Proof of Heaven!! It sounds really cool!

  12. Anne on December 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I HAVE to read before bed to fall asleep, I have since before I was the one doing the reading ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m a nerd though and love historical fiction and classics!

  13. Janice - Fitness Cheerleader on December 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve been looking for a new Kindle read – thanks for the review! I just finished reading the Hunger Games book 1, and as a mom of 3 daughters, I had a hard time with the book because it gave me nightmares ๐Ÿ™

    • Fitnessista on December 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      that’s why i couldn’t bring myself to read it :/

  14. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on December 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I love this post. I now have my new reading list! My friends back in Sydney are in a book club and I’m sad I can’t be apart of it living here so I appreciate all these recommendations. Mine rec is Little Bee. My aunt suggested it to me and its a really great book. It really grabs you emotionally although there are some parts that are tough to read. I highly recommend it.

  15. natasha on December 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I just finished this book, loved it. One of my favorites out of the 60+ books I have read so far this year. I am reading The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani now.

  16. Sarah on December 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I’m going to DL that one right now! It’s been a while since I read a book that wasn’t school related. I think my last read was the Game of Thrones series – which was AWESOME. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Laura J. on December 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the recommendation ๐Ÿ™‚

    Did you watch Michael Buble’s Christmas special last night?! So good! And of course he was super dreamy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Katie on December 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I LOVED Blackberry Winter! The Bungalow was also really good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m currently reading a Jack Reacher novel, but will soon start The Twelve… gotta find out what happens with the vampires!

    • Katie on December 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Oh I was just thinking, have you read anything by Lisa See? She wrote Dreams of Joy, Shanghai Girls, and Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Her writing is absolutely gorgeous!

  19. Pam August on December 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I want to read all these books you are suggesting!! Blackberry winter sounds so good!

  20. Ali @ Peaches and Football on December 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve never heard of Blackberry Winter but it sounds wonderful. I’m in the middle of school semesters right now so it would be the perfect time to pick up a book that DOESN’T involve notecards and memorization of the bolded words. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the recommendation!

  21. kirsten on December 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I love Sarah Jio and can’t wait to read Blackberry Winter. Violets of March and The Bungalow were two of my favorite books! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Kathy on December 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I just downloaded the “Proof of Heaven” audio book to listen to on doggie walks – sounds great!! I read “Heaven is for Real” last Christmas (coincedence?) – loved it!! It’s a must read and fast.

    • Julie on December 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      I enthusiastically 2nd the “Heaven is for Real” recommendation!

  23. mary on December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I’ll look for that author. The Hunger Games violence didn’t bother me but a kid disappearing does. I’m a little phobic of that.

    You might like Gone Girl, if you like mysteries.

    • Vera Gorica on December 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      I totally agree. As a mom of a 4 year old and a 10 month old, I really had no problem with the Hunger Games, but a child missing just hits way too close to home. Just reading Gina’s synopsis of the story above gave me goosebumps.

  24. Elizabeth on December 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Blackberry Winter was really good, I read it in less than 24 hours! Right now, I’m reading the unabridged version of Les Miserables. I want to finish it before I see the new movie ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Christine @ BookishlyB on December 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I’m reading Great House by Nichol Krauss (and if you like books you should check out my blog for an awesome book necklace giveaway, since your an accessory-loving book lover yourself!)

  26. Jules on December 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I’m a huge fan! I have been reading her at Glamour forever and when she published The Violets of March, I knew I would love it! Yay for a new book to read over Christmas break.

  27. Janice on December 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I listened to Proof of Heaven as an audiobook. Loved it! It’s great mix of spirituality and science and I found it fascinating. I’m currently reading Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector.

  28. Maria on December 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    This book sounds really good. I’ll have to add it to my list. Another book that’s really good that sounds similar to this one is Sarah’s Key. It’s set in WWII and talks about the Jews in France in the internment camps. it fast forwards to today and tells the story of a modern day journalist working in France and at the end you find out how their stories connect.

    • Fitnessista on December 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      i read that a couple of years ago. great read- also couldn’t put it down

  29. Joelle (on a pink typewriter) on December 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    This is the next book on my list– I love Sarah Jio’s writing! I’m currently reading her book The Bungalow and I can’t put it down… I’d definitely recommend it!

  30. Megan on December 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I’m curious about Proof of Heaven and would LOVE to hear a review once you finish it!

  31. Sara Lake on December 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I just finished Stephen King’s ‘Needful Things’, which was not really scary, and now I’ve started ‘Passing Through Time’, which is written by a friend of mine about the conversations she had with her brother after his sudden death at the age of 29. It just landed on Kindle.

  32. Laura on December 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I love your blog so much! I remember a while back I read Crazy Sexy Diet because you read it on your kindle…. you should do a blog post about your favorite diet and exercise books!

  33. Ashley on December 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Downloading it now! I’m always looking for a new book. I read The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman a few months ago and it was so good! I highly recommend it, though it’s really emotional (especially for moms, I think). The writing is amazing. I also just read Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth and really enjoyed both (dystopian fiction). I think I read each in a day!!

  34. Caitlin on December 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I just finished we need to talk about Kevin. It seemed so different from the chick lit I find myself leaning toward alot…does that happen to anyone else? it was hard to read (emotionally) but gave me so much to think about. I would recommend!

  35. lisa on December 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I recently finished Blackberry Winter and loved it but now am reading Into The Darkest Corner and can’t put it down. Best book I have read this year.

  36. AshleyC on December 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Currently reading Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina…so far so good, but will be my longest read ever! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 997 pages!

  37. Bek @ Crave on December 12, 2012 at 2:14 am

    I’m going to make it my mission to find a good book to read over the Christmas break! Plenty of opportunities to read then ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Kristin on December 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I’m reading Proof of Heaven now. I have one chapter left. It is pretty interesting. I definatly recommend reading that book. It always makes me think about life and not taking everything for granted. This book makes you want to keep reading more and more. I have a hard time putting it down. Some very touching parts in this one for sure!

  39. Shaina Anderson on December 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    The author of Proof of Heaven was just on Denis Prager’s radio talk show! I want to read that so bad! A other good one along the same lines but it happened to a 3 year old – Heaven Is For Real. Had be SOBBING in various parts.

  40. Kath on July 15, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I realize this is months later, but I had put Blackberry Winter on my to-read list back when this post came out. I finally got around to reading it… Wow is all I can say. Amazing book! Thanks so much for the reccomendation!

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