Minnesota Seniors Online

MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE
BY HEATHER WEBBER
REVIEWED BY
LINDA WICKLUND

When deciding which book to review this month, I thought about a mystery or an historical novel by one of the authors I usually write about.  Then, I remembered a novel I read recently with a completely different theme.  Plus, it's nice to introduce a new author.  Ms. Webber has written a number of novels, but this is the first one that is considered women's fiction.  Another thing that I hope you'll enjoy is as the USA Today put it, "a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance and small-town Southern charm."  Something it seems to me is very appealing in today's world.

The story begins with Anna Kate being abruptly awakened very early one beautiful morning in the sleepy town of Wicklow, Alabama.  She had just arrived in town because her beloved Grandmother Zee had unexpectedly passed away.  It had been an intense week not only planning her Grandmother's funeral, but coming up-to-speed on how to reopen the Blackbird Café which had been willed to her.  Especially because she had never set foot in the Blackbird Cafe. You see, her deceased mom, Eden, had left Wicklow at eighteen years old, "vowing that we would never return." Eden was six weeks' pregnant with Anna Kate at the time.

It had only been through visits to see Anna Kate that her Grandmother had shared the legend of the blackbird pie  Zee told her that as guardians, women of Celtic decent were supposed to bake the pies "to serve those who mourn, those left behind."  And now that Zee was gone, making the pies fell on Anna Kate.

Natalie is the next character who had just moved back to Wicklow out of necessity. Natalie had needed to come home with her daughter Ollie, since her husband had died in a tragic boating accident.  Natalie is headed to the Blackbird Cafe for a piece of pie.  She was hopeful that the pie would give her the answers she needed to find peace and healing for her troubled heart. Just so her Mom, Seelie, didn't catch her since there was a decades long feud between Seelie and Anna Kate's family

As always, there is so much more to tell. Both Natalie and Anna Kate have life changing decisions to make.  Anna Kate is enrolled in medical school in the Fall, so she is determined to fulfill her two month obligation to the cafe and go back to her former life. While Natalie has to reinvent herself for the good of her infant daughter. There are lots of interesting characters in this novel which are beautifully described and brought to life. This is a heartwarming story of life, love, loss and forgiveness and a small Southern town that won't let you go.

Happy reading!