Goodnight June by Sarah Jio
Description: June Anderson is the youngest VP at her bank in New York City with the reputation of being ruthless and the go-to person for hard foreclosure cases. She is stunned when she learns that her Aunt Ruby has died and even more stunned to learn that Ruby has left her the legendary children's bookstore in Seattle that Ruby ran for half a century. What starts as a quick journey to Seattle to liquidate assets and return to work ends up being so much more including understanding her aunt and the author of June's favorite childhood book - Goodnight Moon.
Why I Picked This Book: Woman leaving a high stress career to sort through her aunt's bookstore and ends up on basically a scavenger hunt through old books to discover the secrets of her aunts past and a connection to one of the most well known children's books authors. How could I pass that one up?
Pros: I have read Goodnight Moon many times with the Tornado and it's always been the most calming of bedtime reads. With each goodnight the pace slows, the volume lowers and I could visibly see his eyelids getting a little heavier. On a side note the Quiet Old Lady has always given Emma the creeps and even when she was little she refused to have that book read to her. I enjoyed finding the little mentions for the inspiration for Goodnight Moon and Brown's other books. I had know idea she had written so many. I loved the mention of the cat with the blue paws from Hemingway's house as The Color Kittens is our current favorite around here. I really enjoyed getting to know Margaret Wise Brown. From the introduction Jio has done her research on the Brown and really makes her come alive. When I finished this book the first thing I wanted to do was go find out if there full biographies on Brown because I wanted to hear more from her. While June was difficult to like at the very beginning I did sympathize with her as it was clear how she became the way she was. Watching her begin to thaw was lovely as was the relationship with Gavin. The scavenger hunt was wonderful and I liked how we got the little details about Ruby and "Brownie" without it overpowering the story going on in the present. Then there was the ending - the glorious ending. This was the book equivalent of the a sports movie ending where the scrappy underdog is carried off on his teams' shoulders while the stadium chants his name. It was uplifting and wonderful and I loved how everything go wrapped up. Also, I now want a kitten who I name Brownie.
Cons: I'm stretching here because I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It kind of annoyed me that June never even considered selling the first editions to help raise money. I get that she didn't want to sell them all but at least some especially considering what she was up against. I wanted her to fight a little harder. I can see how an argument could be made that the end was a little contrived or maybe over the top. It's not an argument I'm willing to listen too but I can see how it could be made.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this book both because of the literary connections and watching June find her way. Jio makes both Bluebird Books and Margaret Wise Brown really come alive. If I was planning a trip to Seattle I'd have to remind myself that Bluebird Books isn't a real place because Jio made it seem so real I'd add it to my itinerary without thinking!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I'm planning on looking for Sarah Jio's early books at my library this afternoon!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Absolutely! If you love bookish books or transformation books or books that bring a happy tear to your eye this is one to pick up!