Midnight at the Blackbird Café
By Heather Webber
(333 pages, fiction, 2019)
Anna Kate travels to the small town of Wicklow, Alabama, to settle her beloved Grandmother Zee’s estate and close up Zee’s thriving Blackbird Café. There’s a mystery about the Blackbird Café. It is said that if you eat the blackbird pie (fruit and a secret ingredient) then you may get a message from a departed loved one in your dreams. Some people in the town depend on their daily piece of pie. But only someone in Anna Kate’s family can bake them. And there is a large flock of blackbirds that fly only at midnight, which brings in many interested birdwatchers. Anna Kate says that she is not staying. She promised her mother, Eden, that she would become a doctor. She tries to resist getting to know the townspeople, but she is warming to them. She meets her aunt Natalie and adorable baby niece “Ollie” and then her grandfather and grandmother, with mixed reactions. Long ago there was a car accident and Eden was driving. Eden’s boyfriend died, and his mother blamed Eden, accusing her of murder. Eden left town when she was pregnant with Anna Kate, vowing never to return. As the story goes on Anna Kate finds out more about the accident and her family’s history. Anna Kate also finds that it is very hard to think about leaving quirky little Wicklow. The townspeople tell her that once Wicklow takes a hold of you, it won’t let you go. This is a wonderful book full of secrets, family relationships, and a bit of magic. With the help of the blackbirds and a mysterious cat, Anna Kate may find the answers she is looking for, and decide if the blackbirds are really calling her home.
This delightful story would be a great match for anyone who likes the books of Fannie Flagg, Sarah Addison Allen or Sandra Dallas. It has terrific characters and loads of Southern charm!
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