Blackberry Winter: A Novel Audiobook | Sarah Jio | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Blackberry Winter: A Novel | [Sarah Jio]

Blackberry Winter: A Novel

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, reporter Claire Aldridge awakens to another late-season snowstorm. Assigned to cover this "blackberry winter" and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel’s unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth.
Regular Price:$13.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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 snowstorm. 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.

©2012 Sarah Jio (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (130 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
3.8 (111 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (34)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.0 (110 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (43)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Annie Seattle, WA, United States 11-06-12
    Annie Seattle, WA, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overacted Narration, Cheesy Writing, Predictable"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Perhaps people who like a highly emotionally-charged book, but don't care for literary-style writing. Perhaps someone with children. But, honestly, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know.


    What was most disappointing about Sarah Jio’s story?

    It was bothersome how everything just seemed to be such a coincidence, but each "twist" and "turn" was really predictable. The characters the protagonist meets are too convenient to helping her in her story. So much so that it became annoying.

    When she tried to create a scene that was light-hearted, or funny, (which the protaganist's best friend was supposed to do) it came off as cheesy, clunky, and unnatural.

    The cliche critique of the wealthy and entire theme of the book being poor vs. rich also got old. There are plenty of well-written books about the plight of the poor that don't spell it out so obviously and simply, citing each time a person with any money does something terrible, or would do something terrible, and contrasting it with a person with little means doing something wonderful or having a good heart. It's as if the author believes the reader is too stupid to pick up on what she is trying to say.


    What didn’t you like about Tara Sands’s performance?

    Her voice quavered the entire time, whether the characters were upset or scared, or happy (which, admittedly, was rare). She over-acted, which got pretty irritating. She definitely varied her voices & some might say she did it well, I just didn't care for her voices & theatrics.


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 09-28-12
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 09-28-12 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4151
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    479
    306
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3667
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cleverly Constructed"

    From the cover design and the book's title, at first glance I thought this might be a romance novel, and had a moment of regret after purchase. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as the story evolves as relatively original and the author weaves the present and past in a very believable and relatable way, with past-to-present story lines that are somewhat similar or at least parallel.

    Though romantic love is a theme, it's not the primary one, as the novel deals with larger issues like personal growth, motivation, the definition of true "success", and how we handle life's curve balls; how we play the hand we're given.

    I appreciated the main character's perspective from an in-law attached to a high-profile and wealthy family, as many on the outside can think that once you marry into wealth and influence your life is solved. But that's not always the case, and there are downsides.The protagonist struggles to find her own way, establish herself independently of her husband's powerful and prestigious family. She does manage to succeed at this and in the end becomes more than just another appendage to a family with far-reaching power and influence.

    I think the plot trajectory is clever, well-conceived and somewhat original. I am sure there are other novels with a similar story but I haven't encountered them, so to me this narrative has legs beyond what at first seems to be simply about a reporter just trying to find a story. And it's all deftly mixed in with the specter of a recent personal tragedy that adds color and depth.

    I am only giving this book 4 out of 5, however, because the ending was resolved for me way before the last few chapters, and those sections, seeming like filler, just dragged annoyingly on and on. This part didn't seem to fit - perhaps added as a recommendation from an editor, because the primary reveal was accomplished well in advance of the final chapters.

    Still, well worth the purchase and highly deserving of a credit.

    20 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Ballwin, MO, United States 07-11-13
    Anne Ballwin, MO, United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    83
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good story buried under turgid narration"

    The story has a creative and interesting plot surrounding a modern-day love story and a long-ago mystery and the way they become woven together by two freak spring snow storms. It's not great literature, but it would be a good read. I use "read" deliberately because listening to this story is a terrific disappointment.

    I realize, as I am nearing the end, that I am so distracted by the narrator, that I find myself wondering, "How would that sound in my head if I were just reading it - would I give that phrase that emphasis? Would I feel differently about this character, this decision, this coincidence if I didn't have that voice in my head making every character sound as if they have a huge stick up their... er ... you know." When the focus of your listening experience becomes the narrator and not the story, something isn't working well.

    I'm not sure what Ms. Sands was trying to do with this story, but her slow, deliberate, pronounce-every-syllable pacing becomes very distracting. Her tone is usually "emphatic" sounding and everyone (all her characters) speak with the same level of intensity about everything. Vera is exactly as intense about the hole in her shoe as she is about her missing child - like that.

    I listened to samples from some of her other works, and she clearly doesn't narrate like this in all of them, and that leads me to wonder if this might have been the result of bad direction.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott sister bay, WI, USA 04-25-13
    Scott sister bay, WI, USA 04-25-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth a listen"
    Any additional comments?

    I found this book to be quite enjoyable. I had to paint my kitchen and found that I wanted to keep working late into the night just to finish. I won't say that this is the best book ever, but if you want to be entertained and get lost in a story this is a good choice. There were a few parts that seemed a bit cheesy and the author created a few situations that seemed a bit too convenient, but if you can set those aside you will enjoy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Clemson, SC, United States 12-24-12
    Patricia Clemson, SC, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    305
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth a read"
    What did you love best about Blackberry Winter?

    I liked the setting back in the 30s and the switching back and forth in time. The characters were interesting--two young women facing the loss of their children.


    Would you recommend Blackberry Winter to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend with reservations. It is a bit Nicholas Sparks, but not quite as clichéd.


    What about Tara Sands’s performance did you like?

    She didn't get in the way of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    The best part of the book occurs in the 30s. The modern day character doesn't read as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen ravenna, OH, United States 08-03-13
    Jen ravenna, OH, United States 08-03-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    326
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    151
    115
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    68
    18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "...And a Long Whiney Winter It Was"

    This novel is highly praised at many review sites. I can’t imagine how so many people fell down this long contrived tunnel and came up claiming it a good read. Some of the labored manipulating of the plot is really so unnecessary. The author forces comparisons using magically appearing contrived characters that leave to never appear again just as fast. To show relationship the author mentions a bracelet that the 1933 protagonist and the current one mention so often and so forced that when it later becomes as a point that is not a surprise and has long lost all meaning. Chapters are spent for no other reason but to work in that the two generations ate the same meal.


    This is a fine example of the role of the narrator when reading through an audiobook. The languished writing, the highly concocted plot, and the predictability of this book were negatively enhanced by the overacting of the narrator and her labored voice repertoire.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 07-18-13
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 07-18-13 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    302
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    378
    243
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    45
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slogging Through It"

    I am having a run of bad luck with books!

    YET AGAIN a somewhat promising idea turns out to be a sappy, badly written book. UGH. It was so flat and not realistic at all; people don’t speak that way in real life! Not people you’d want to spend time with anyway… it struck me as what a child’s idea is of how grown-ups talk.

    I kept reading because I am stubborn about finishing books, and I always hope that despite the eye-rolling, predictable, cliché and banal dialogue – there might be a redeeming story buried down deep in there somewhere!! But it was a lot of sappy drama to slog through – barely worth it.

    I concede that perhaps it was the narrator that ruined it for me. Her overly-dramatic over-acted performance was just too much.

    At the risk of sounding obnoxious, I would qualify this book as a “Beach Read”. Lower your standards. Think: light & fluffy and you might not be as disappointed.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Rock Hill, SC, United States 12-13-12
    Barbara Rock Hill, SC, United States 12-13-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting concept"

    This was as unique a plot as I've seen in a long time, and I liked the shifts from present to past, but the it would have been much stronger without the ungainly coincidences. Good character development and good sense of the lives of the poor in the 1930s. Worth the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TP NC 12-06-12
    TP NC 12-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting plot, sappy execution"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I don't think this particular audiobook was time well spent - although I connected with the characters and was mildly interesting in the dual plot (one happening in the 30s, one present day), I found the plot dragged and the writing was cliched and a little sappy. Although the title speaks of Winter, my feeling is this a pleasant beach read at best....if you have the patience.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EBONEE WINDSOR MILL, MD, United States 11-29-12
    EBONEE WINDSOR MILL, MD, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great for listening and life learning"
    What made the experience of listening to Blackberry Winter the most enjoyable?

    I did not want it to end. Great way to bring a story together. Applauds


    Who was the most memorable character of Blackberry Winter and why?

    Verra


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.