Summary (from the publisher): Nestled in the mountain shadows of Alabama lies the little town of Wicklow. It is here that Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café.
It was supposed to be a quick trip to close the café and settle her grandmother’s estate, but despite her best intentions to avoid forming ties or even getting to know her father’s side of the family, Anna Kate finds herself inexplicably drawn to the quirky Southern town her mother ran away from so many years ago, and the mysterious blackbird pie everybody can’t stop talking about.As the truth about her past slowly becomes clear, Anna Kate will need to decide if this lone blackbird will finally be able to take her broken wings and fly.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Everyone knows that my love for baking extends beyond the kitchen, as I absolutely love books with any type of baking or food-ish setting. Enter Heather Webber’s Midnight at the Blackbird Café, following Anna Kate’s stay in small town Alabama in the wake of her grandmother’s death. Putting her medical school aspirations on hold, Grandma Zee’s will requires Anna Kate to run the Blackbird Café for two months. This time allows Anna Kate to get to know her grandmother’s quirky Southern town and solve at least two mysteries: the accident that caused her father’s death and her mother’s estrangement from the town since, and why everyone is obsessed with her grandmother’s blackbird pie.
Midnight at the Blackbird Café completely delivered for all the right reasons. While this book caught my attention for its titular café, Heather Webber’s latest release is more than just a book about a girl who is left to run a small town café. Heather Webber delves into so many heavy themes in this book, including loss, grief and trauma through multiple characters.
Although I’d argue that this book is truly Anna Kate’s story, the book is also told from Natalie, another young woman who has just returned to Wicklow a fterexperiencing loss herself. I really enjoyed the balance between these two perspectives and found that they had their own distinctive voices. While mostly narrated from Anna Kate and Natalie, readers really get pulled into small town life and get to know all of the secondary characters. Like most small towns, Anna Kate and Natalie are pulled into so many secrets and hidden pasts, especially in light of Anna Kate trying to figure out the bad blood between her mother and her father’s family. While heart-breaking at times, there’s plenty of heart-warming moments and support for Anna Kate from Wicklow (including an attractive man who knows a good fried chicken recipe).