Book Review: Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio on Mandy Boles: Life Between Books

Goodnight June (Plume, 320 pages, $16.00) by Sarah Jio is a book I would purchase based on cover love alone. Seriously. Take a gander at the cover of this book. It’s beautiful and so clever. First, there’s the title – Goodnight June. Goodnight June sounds like Goodnight Moon and most of us bookworms probably have fond memories of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic. So, Jio has us hooked already with the title. Then add in the peek of the fireplace in the great green room in the corner of the cover and BOOM! I’m buying this book no matter what! (Adult Novel + Goodnight Moon = Awesome.)

What’s so wonderful about Goodnight June is that it absolutely lives up to its catchy title and beautiful cover. Jio has once again delivered another beautiful story with one foot in the past and one deeply rooted in the present. Goodnight June centers around June Andersen. June lives in Manhattan and works a very stressful job in finance. She is saddened to hear her great-aunt Ruby has passed away, and she doesn’t know what to think when she hears that Ruby left her beloved bookstore, Bluebird Books, to her.

June must return to Washington to take care of her great-aunt’s estate. While home for the first time in years, June must come to terms with her estrangement from her sister. In the midst of trying to decide whether or not to keep Bluebird Books open, June makes a historic discovery. She finds letters between Ruby and Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon. Ruby and “Brownie’s” letters introduce June to a side of her late aunt that she never knew. June learns of a love affair and of Ruby and Margaret’s strained relationships  with their own sisters. June’s present and Ruby’s past make for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Sarah Jio is easily one of my favorite historical fiction authors. I love the way she blends the present and past in a perfectly seamless package. Goodnight June has many references to Goodnight Moon which made me quite nostalgic for my eldest son’s toddler and preschool years. A time when Goodnight Moon was one of the few books he loved being read to him over and over again. I can still see his tiny finger going up to cover his mouth as he whispered hush along with the old woman in the story.  Jio brings a beloved author to life in this vibrant and uplifting novel. I highly recommend it.

You can find Sarah Jio online at her website,

Click here to purchase Goodnight June from Amazon.

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FTC Disclosure: I receive a commission on all purchases made through using the Amazon, affiliate, and ShopSense links on this site. My personal copy of Goodnight June was used for this review. Sarah’s on my “automatic pre-order” list. 🙂


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