(50)Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Goodnight June

Pages: 320

Publisher: Penguin Group 
Publication Date: May 27, 2014

June Andersen is letting the world of high powered finance in New York City get the best of her.  She is quite successful in her career with one of the largest banks on Wall Street, yet the stress of her career is causing health issue after health issue and her doctor has told her to slow down or suffer the consequences.  Unfortunately the slow down comes in the form of a letter from her deceased aunt's lawyer, the beloved aunt that she didn't even know had passed away. June's Aunt Ruby left her the treasured children's bookstore back in Seattle, Bluebird Books.   June sets off for Seattle with the intention of selling the bookstore and settling her affairs, but her intentions change almost the instant she steps foot back in the place that is the home of her heart.  Starting with a kind of treasure hunt that leads June to startling news about one of the most famous children's authors, Margaret Wise Brown, and of course  the handsome guy that owns the restaurant next door may have a deciding factor in whether she stays or goes.  Will June be able to truly walk away from her career and leave New York or will say goodbye to the place that once was her whole life?

Goodnight June is a fictional story about how Margaret Wise Brown came up with the idea of one of the most famous children's books ever printed, you may have heard of it?  Goodnight Moon.  There is no known inspiration for the book, so Sarah Jio thought it might be fun to create one.  The author makes it very clear from the very beginning of the book that it is a fictional account, but that doesn't make it any less cool. The premise is that June's Aunt Ruby and "Brownie" were good friends and corresponded by mail, discussing everything from their romantic lives to their strained relationships with their respective sisters, and of course their love for children's literature.  Aunt Ruby hid two letters at a time in books referenced in the previous letters, sending June on a bit of a literary treasure hunt.  It was fun to read the letters with June and it was great fun seeing all of the references made to popular kid lit at the time, like Pippi Longstocking.  As much as I loved that part of the story, I really did not like the relationship between June and her own sister. I understand why the author put it in the book (to parallel Ruby and MWB's experiences) but,  I do not think it flowed naturally in the book, even out of place a bit. It even had me thinking "WTF just happened here?"   But despite all of that I really, really liked Goodnight June.

Bottom line, it is no surprise to any of you how much bookstores mean to me and I love reading books about bookstores.  Goodnight June is not only a love story about a great author, but also an ode to bookstores  and booksellers everywhere.  Definitely a book that book nerds (such as myself) should read. And you know where to go to buy it, right?  Your nearest bookstore, of course!!
Brandie said...
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Brandie said...

I really loved this book. So much that I ordered a paperback copy last night! Great review. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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