Email this review


A woman struggling with her past discovers a family connection to a classic children's book.

June Andersen’s tough, no-nonsense approach has been key to her success working for a major New York City bank. It’s also resulted in high blood pressure and stress. When she finds out that her great-aunt Ruby has died and designated her the beneficiary of her estate, June returns to her childhood home in Seattle, Wash., intending to sell the children’s bookstore she’s inherited. Instead, she reconnects with her past, falls in love and decides to stay. Sorting through her aunt’s possessions, June follows a trail of old letters between Ruby and her literary friend, well-known children’s author Margaret Wise Brown. That trail leads to several discoveries: Ruby once had a married lover whose prominent family still resides in Seattle; both friends had troubled relationships with their sisters; and Brown not only visited Bluebird Bookstore, but June’s great-aunt inspired one of Brown’s most popular works, Goodnight Moon. When June receives notice the shop is within days of foreclosure, she sells her possessions and stages a fundraiser to keep Ruby’s beloved bookstore open. Thanks to the shop’s historic association with Brown and its hallowed status among the readers of Seattle, everyone from celebrities to a major news organization lends a hand. In the process, June learns an important lesson about acceptance and forgiveness, finds the answer to her aunt’s greatest secret and receives a helping hand from a surprising source. Readers unfamiliar with Brown’s works may not relate to Jio’s (Morning Glory, 2013, etc.) many references to book titles, bunnies and the "great green room," but the novel provides an adequate diversion for those who enjoy light romance and mystery.

Jio sprinkles her book with sunny messages about being the author of your own life; fans will applaud her optimistic outlook.

Pub Date: May 27th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-14-218021-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Plume
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


FictionALWAYS by Sarah Jio
by Sarah Jio
FictionMORNING GLORY by Sarah Jio
by Sarah Jio


FictionALWAYS by Sarah Jio
by Sarah Jio
FictionASTOR PLACE VINTAGE by Stephanie Lehmann
by Stephanie Lehmann
FictionTRUE LOVE by Jude Deveraux
by Jude Deveraux
ChildrenTHE SPLENDOR FALLS by Rosemary Clement-Moore
by Rosemary Clement-Moore