Blackberry Winter: A Novel

Blackberry Winter - Sarah Jio *****This book was recieved free from goodreads firstreads*****I couldn't decide whether to give this book 4 stars or 5 so in actuality, it's probably 4.5 for me. The reason I gave it 5 stars was I just could not stop thinking about this book....and thinking...and thinking...and thinking! It took longer for me to read than usual, simply because I kept going back and re-reading parts just to see if I missed something. Parts of the book kept nagging at me and when I finally decided it MUST be an editing error, I read on only to find out it was just another twist in the story!The book itself is split between two narriators: Vera Ray in May of 1933 and Claire Aldridge in 2010. The POV alternates each chapter weaving two stories into a tale of kidnapping, murder, corruption and deception. Vera Ray is a working single mother of 3 year old Daniel. Every nite she puts her 3 year old son to bed and with a breaking heart, locks the door and leaves to work at the Olympic Hotel (a job she is very grateful for during the depression years) to support them. She hurries home early each morning before her son wakes. Except on this particular morning a freak May snowstorm has hit and she returns home to find her son gone.Claire Aldridge is a journalist working for the Kensington family newspaper. It's 2010 and the first freak snowstorm in May has hit since 1933. They call this a "Blackberry Winter". Claire is assigned a feature piece on the similarities of the 2 snowstorms and while researching information comes across the story of a missing little boy named Daniel. After recently losing a baby herself, this story calls to her and she decides to make it the focus of her feature. What happened to Daniel Ray? What became of his mother Vera Ray?Although the story is chalk full of coincidences, and the finding of information is truly far-fetched (neat and tidy in a briefcase? really??) the story IS fiction, and it IS a captivating story. I would defenitely recommend this book and I will defenitely be searching out Sarah Jio's previous novels!