The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

GOODNIGHT JUNE By Sarah Jio

Goodnight June by Sarah JioPublisher:  Plume
Release Date:  May 27, 2014
Pages:  320
Genre:  Women's Fiction

Book Description:  The New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter imagines the inspiration for Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon is an adored childhood classic, but its real origins are lost to history. In Goodnight June, Sarah Jio offers a suspenseful and heartfelt take on how the "great green room" might have come to be.

June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature.

Wanda's Thoughts:  Goodnight June is a story with strong themes of family, love, forgiveness, and new beginnings.  Sarah Jio's writing is inviting, descriptive, with many poignant moments.

The author effortlessly weaves together two stories, separated by over 50 years, using letters written by  June's Aunt Ruby and the legendary children's book author, Margaret Wise Brown.

35 year old June, is living in Manhattan, with a successful career at a New York Bank.  She is notified that her Aunt Ruby, who had lived in Seattle, has left her entire estate to her.  It includes a children's bookstore, Bluebird Books, where Ruby and her sister, Amy, had spent a lot of time as children.  As a child, June had shared with her aunt, the love of books.  She learned of entire worlds that existed beyond the drab world that Ruby and her sister lived.

June has a lot of hurt in her life and has endured much pain in her past family life.  And the story unfolds as June's life becomes even more complex as she begins to put Aunt Ruby's affairs in order - Ruby's secrets, the future of the bookstore, and her memories.

The first few chapters were just lukewarm, but the storyline soon picked up and I couldn't put this book down.

Goodnight June is a delightful read that will touch your heart, and has a superb ending that you won't see coming.  Beautifully written!  My rating is 4.5 stars.
Sarah Jio
About the Author:  Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST CAMELLIA, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (a Library Journal Best Book of 2011), THE BUNGALOW, and the forthcoming, MORNING GLORY (11/26/13), all from Penguin/Plume. Sarah is also the former health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. She has written thousands of articles for national magazines including Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Sarah lives in Seattle with her husband and their three young boys.