Friday, January 18, 2013

Blackberry Winter

In Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio we meet two Seattle women. The first, Vera Ray, is a single mother in 1933 whose son, Daniel, goes missing in the midst of a May snowstorm(known as a blackberry winter storm). The second, Claire Aldridge, is also a Seattle woman but in the year 2010. Claire is a journalist covering a freak May snowstorm that is happening in Seattle. She finds out that there was a similar snowstorm that hit the city in 1933 and decides to include this information in her article. Upon investigating her story,Claire happens upon the story of Vera and Daniel Ray and becomes obsessed with solving the mystery.

This insomniac's opinion:

Ugh.This is one of those books where the reviews seem unilaterally great, but I just did not enjoy it. This is yet another case of the dreaded "dual narrator syndrome." You know- where you just adore the story of one narrator and am bored to tears with the other and find yourself speed reading through the boring narration to get to the fascinating one? I loved Vera's story and liked her character. Of course, as a mother myself, I desperately wanted her to find her son, Daniel.Claire, on the the other hand, just did not resonate with me. I found her to be insipid and whiny and her character to be just plain unreal. Everywhere Claire goes another piece of the puzzle just falls into her lap in an absolutely unbelievable way. She doesn't really have to do any work at all other than give herself frequent pats on the back to reward herself for being such a wonderful investigative journalist. Again, ugh. The ending is saccharin sweet and when the mystery is unraveled, it is truly unbelievable and not grounded in reality.

Worth staying up to read?

Not unless you really like mediocre chick-lit.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (again, no half stars allowed on Goodreads, darn it!)

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