June Anderson has begun to have physical signs of anxiety. Her high powered bank VP job in the fast-moving city of New York should give her satisfaction, but she can’t help but wonder if it’s all worth it. When her beloved aunt dies, leaving June her bookstore, she flies back home to Seattle to take care of it. She planned for a quick trip there and back, just long enough to find out the details and liquidate it. But when she leaves New York and gets back to the slower pace of Seattle and the fond memories of Aunt Ruby’s bookstore, she begins to wonder about what she’s really meant to do. Staying in the apartment over the bookstore where she used to spend nights when she was a young girl escaping the less-than-ideal life at home, she feels close to her Aunt Ruby and remorse for not returning to Seattle before she died. She always loved that bookstore. Can she really just sell it off knowing that her aunt left it to her specifically?
She finds letters written between that her aunt seemed to have left specifically for her to find, with a trail to find more. These letters are correspondence between her and Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon. In reading these letters, June gets to look deeper into her aunt’s passion for children’s books, but also discovers unknown things about her past.
Goodnight June is a fictionalized imagining of a relationship that might have been between a beloved children’s book author and a bookstore owner, and how their collaboration might have birthed this classic. It is just one of the mysteries that is unraveled in this book, others being what June is going to do with the bookstore, who Aunt Ruby’s lifetime love was, and why June has been estranged from her sister.
Sarah Jio has become one of my new favorite authors. See the recommended posts links below for my reviews on some of her earlier novels.