June Andersen, a highly successful New York City banker whose personal life bears no resemblance to her professional one, inherits Bluebird Books, a children's bookstore in Seattle, formerly owned by June's great aunt Ruby.
June and her younger sister, Amy, spent many happy hours with their great aunt at the beloved bookstore when they were kids. Their mother was young and immature, and didn't keep close watch over her daughters. So Ruby stepped in and was happy to do so. However, when the girls were grown up, Amy betrayed her sister's trust. That horrible misstep tore the small family apart, and June will have nothing to do with her younger sister.
"Sarah Jio’s GOODNIGHT JUNE is part mystery and part romance...but is also a reminder that we can learn to forgive, backtrack (if necessary), and head down a different and better path if we choose to do so."
June is now back in Seattle trying to figure out what to do about the bookstore, which is heavily mortgaged. Talk about irony. The very bank that employs June is threatening to close down Bluebird Books. June has her own secure life back in the Big Apple, which seems less appealing as time spent between the walls of the cozy and familiar store causes June to abandon her high-profile job and try to make a go of what is rapidly becoming scarce --- an independent bookstore.
Much of Ruby's life is a mystery to June until she begins to find clues that Ruby left her in first editions all over the bookshelves --- correspondence between Ruby and her dear friend, Margaret Wise Brown, the author of many children's books, including the classic and still-loved GOODNIGHT MOON. The letters are pieces of a larger puzzle. Did Margaret ever visit Seattle? Did Ruby really encourage her to begin a book about "a great green room, a bowl of mush, and an old lady whispering hush?"
Amy, now pregnant and dying, reenters June's life just as June is trying to raise funds to save the bookstore and figure out who the mysterious JP is. It seems that Ruby gave birth to a child by her married lover. It is thought that the child was a boy, but what do the initials JP really stand for? And where is JP now?
Sarah Jio’s GOODNIGHT JUNE is part mystery and part romance (June meets and falls for the restaurant owner next door), but is also a reminder that we can learn to forgive, backtrack (if necessary), and head down a different and better path if we choose to do so.
Reviewed by Carole Turner on June 20, 2014
- Publication Date: May 27, 2014
- Genres: Fiction
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Plume
- ISBN-10: 0142180211
- ISBN-13: 9780142180211