by Sarah Jio
Jio has a great narrative style. You get sucked into her books right away and while she does have description it is minimal because it is her characters and their relationships that generally have some sort of issue that are important. She also envelopes her stories (things relate to one another in different ways so by the end it makes a pretty bow) which makes for a satisfying, if not sometimes a little predictable read. I have read two of her books now and they both were that way, so I possibly incorrectly assume most will be like this. This story was about a freak snow storm in Seattle in May. 80 years prior there was another storm, or Blackberry Winter that hit the city and 3-year-old Daniel was taken from his mother. In present day Claire is writing a story on the snowfall and decides to solve the mystery of what happened to Daniel.
The clues are slowly meted out in both the past and the present. There are alternating chapters from 1933 and present day. Claire was a bit irritating because a life event has seriously crippled her emotionally and she and her husband are not doing all that well. In her mind she knows what she is doing, but her actions are emotionally motivated, hurt, pain, anger and guilt make an emotional cocktail that addles her so much she can’t move beyond it. So her actions don’t match what her mind tells her to do which we know because of the point of view. Her mind and heart are at war.
I enjoyed this quick, easy read. It would have been great while sitting on the beach or by the pool, but I read it while traveling (plane and airport) which was just as satisfying, though I did set it down to watch a movie (such a guilty pleasure to watch junk on a plane). I give it 4 contemporary, emotionally stunted, bleeding from the wounds of the past stars that somehow make you hope they will find a way to fix themselves.