MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFÉ – Heather Webber
Wicklow, Alabama – Present day
Wicklow, Alabama is famous for the Blackbird Café and its mysterious properties and its famous blackbird pie (made from blackberries). At midnight every night twenty- four female blackbirds congregate on its red mulberry trees and sing. And if anyone has a slice of the Blackbird Café's famous blackbird pie, they will have a visit from a loved one that night while they sleep. Years ago a family of Guardians were drawn to this small city and the branches of the two trees make a tunnel to connect this world to the heavenly one.
Anna Kate Callow just drove to Alabama after the death of her grandma Zoe. After the funeral, Anna Kate found out she must run the café for two months in Wicklow before she is allowed to sell it. The café's two employees, Bow and Jena, have given her a rush tutorial about running the café and now it's up to Anna Kate. Coincidentally, a bunch of bird watchers have invaded the area after hearing about the blackbirds that appear in an area where blackbirds are never seen. Anna Kate's mother Eden ran away from Wicklow when she found out she was pregnant and was accused of killing her baby's father in a traffic accident. Eden never showed her face back in town again, and didn't want Anna Kate to have anything to do with Wicklow or the Blackbird Café. Anna Kate has the gift of healing and is determined to sell the cafe and go to medical school---she promised her mother and won't go back on her promise.
Natalie Linden and her one-year-old daughter are back in Wicklow after the death of her husband, and staying with her parents. Her mother, Seelie and Natalie have never had a great relationship, especially after the death of her older brother, Andrew James Linden, when he was eighteen years old. When Natalie goes to the café for a piece of the famed pie, everyone is acting weird, even her mother. Natalie learns her perfect brother Andrew was Anna Kate's father, but Seelie still blames the whole family for his death.
Told from Anna Kate and Natalie's points of view, both women are trying to come to terms with the magic of Wicklow and their strange relationship. Of course this is a small town and everyone but Natalie and Anna Kate knows about Anna Kate and Natalie's connection, but nobody knows what could happen. And when the famed pie doesn't seem to be living up to its dream properties, Anna Kate must try to figure out what is missing in the recipe from her grandma. Add in a cat that not everyone can see, and a blackbird that has eyes suspiciously like Anna Kate's mothers, and you have an intriguing story.
Secondary characters are Bow and Jena, Natalie's parents, Faylene, the local gossip, and Otis Lazenby, distraught when the pie isn't doing its job and he can't communicate with his beloved late wife. And eighteen –year-old Summer Pavegeau is a friend of Anna Kate's who provides the missing ingredient for the pie.
MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFÉ was a hoot to read and very fascinating and captivating while waiting to see if Wicklow will prevent Anna Kate from leaving, and if she and Natalie and Natalie's parents can obtain any kind of relationship. Anna Kate's mother, Eden, never returned to Wicklow, and could never find peace in her life after losing Anna Kate's father and the subsequent belief that her driving caused the accident that led to disaster. Grab up MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFÉ for a charming read this month.