Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
"Seattle, 1933. Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, good night and reluctantly leaves for work. She hates the night shift, but it's the only way she can earn enough to keep destitution at bay. In the morning--even though it's the second of May--a heavy snow is falling. Vera rushes to wake Daniel, but his bed is empty. His teddy bear lies outside in the snow. Seattle, present day. On the second of May, Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge awakens to another late-season snow storm. Assigned to cover this 'blackberry winter' and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel's unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth--only to discover that she and Vera are linked in unexpected ways."
I really liked this book! I was hooked from the first page. I loved the writing style; it sucked me in, and I felt as if I lived in Vera's world. I loved the language and the descriptions. I thought the characters were well developed and realistic. I especially liked Vera and Claire. I felt for Vera. I wanted to scream at her not to leave Daniel by himself that night, but unfortunately, my screaming would not have helped the situation. I cannot imagine being so destitute that leaving my baby home alone would even be an option. Her emotions were so realistic and raw. I cried when I read it. I liked Claire a lot too. She was making me nervous with Dominic, but I ended up liking the connection it brought with it (I won't give too much away). I hated the relationship she had with her husband, and it definitely made me grateful for the wonderful relationship I have with my husband. I can't imagine going through what they did, though. That would be awful. There are some great lessons for marriages: the importance of communication, and working together to get through difficult situations. I also thought you might each need to handle trials in different ways, but somehow you need to find a way to bring those ways together, or you end up too far apart. I also liked the title, how it fit the story, and how it wove its way into little details here and there.
There were some parts of this book that were predictable, and there were a lot of "coincidences," but I still couldn't put it down. There is some profanity in this book. There is some violence as well. There is also "intimacy." There are a few scenes along with innuendos. It wasn't too detailed or graphic, but it was there. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely like to read more by this author. I would recommend it with the above warnings.
Rating: R (Profanity, violence, and "intimacy," including scenes and innuendos.)
Recommendation: Adult (This book is not appropriate for YA readers.)