Midnight at the Blackbird Café

Midnight at the Blackbird Café

Heather Webber's Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town Southern charm.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...

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Title:Midnight at the Blackbird Café
Author:Heather Webber
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Midnight at the Blackbird Café Reviews

  • Vickie

    I love this book. I have been a fan of Heather Blake/Heather Webber for almost ten years. I love her paranormal cozy and gardening cozy series, but this is a whole new kind of love of a story from this author. If you need a comparison to a style or genre for this book, think along the lines of Sarah Addison Allen or Fannie Flagg. It's described as Southern magical realism, but it's also about relationships, forgiveness, hurt, growth, change, coming home, love, friendship, understanding....

    I love

    I love this book. I have been a fan of Heather Blake/Heather Webber for almost ten years. I love her paranormal cozy and gardening cozy series, but this is a whole new kind of love of a story from this author. If you need a comparison to a style or genre for this book, think along the lines of Sarah Addison Allen or Fannie Flagg. It's described as Southern magical realism, but it's also about relationships, forgiveness, hurt, growth, change, coming home, love, friendship, understanding....

    I loved the acceptance of things as they were, though some had a rough path to follow to get there.

    There are two or more voices telling the story and it's well done. It moves the story along and each voice must be heard. The small town is full of people who have a voice in the story too and they are heard.

    I know this is a stand-alone novel, but how I wish it were the start of a series. Or the town of Wicklow really existed so I could visit and see the blackbirds, visit the Blackbird Cafe and meet Anna Kate, Ollie, Natalie, Seelie, Cam, Gideon, Faylene, grumpy Mr. Lazenby...

    I absolutely, positively can highly recommend this book and this author.

  • Laine

    In a very small, rather rundown town in the shadows of the mountains in Alabama, there is a flock of blackbirds. But this is no ordinary old town, and these are no ordinary blackbirds. Everyone knows the blackbirds can give guidance, but exactly how does that work? The only person who knew has passed on.

    In this town, there are two young women, linked by love but divided by hate. Both struggle to find their way through staggering grief and loss, and one of them holds the key to the future of this

    In a very small, rather rundown town in the shadows of the mountains in Alabama, there is a flock of blackbirds. But this is no ordinary old town, and these are no ordinary blackbirds. Everyone knows the blackbirds can give guidance, but exactly how does that work? The only person who knew has passed on.

    In this town, there are two young women, linked by love but divided by hate. Both struggle to find their way through staggering grief and loss, and one of them holds the key to the future of this extraordinary little town. Trouble is, something very important is keeping her from using it.

    Dealing in more depth with painful issues than in previous books, Heather Webber nevertheless creates a delicate, subtle magic in this town. Readers of her Wishcraft series will know to look for the signs. It’s a complex and lovely story, in the kind of small town where not only gossip is shared, but also every grief and joy. The “bread brigade” will make you smile and maybe wish you lived there.

    It came at a good time for me--the anniversary of the death of someone precious to me--and the way its characters work through their grief to a place of acceptance and strength was a great comfort to me, a reminder that even when someone dies, they are never really gone.

    I had a hard time moving on to another book after I finished reading this one, and although it’s not meant to be part of a series, I think I won’t be the only reader who wishes for more.

  • Rebecca

    While in town for her grandmother’s funeral, Anna Kate learns that in order to fully inherit her Granny Zee's Blackbird Café, she must run it for two months. Meanwhile, Natalie, a young widow and mother to a two year daughter, Ollie, has returned to the small, southern town where she grew up and where everybody knows everybody... and their business. Natalie doesn’t get along with her mother but has nowhere else to go. Besides being new to Wicklow, what else do the two women have in common? How w

    While in town for her grandmother’s funeral, Anna Kate learns that in order to fully inherit her Granny Zee's Blackbird Café, she must run it for two months. Meanwhile, Natalie, a young widow and mother to a two year daughter, Ollie, has returned to the small, southern town where she grew up and where everybody knows everybody... and their business. Natalie doesn’t get along with her mother but has nowhere else to go. Besides being new to Wicklow, what else do the two women have in common? How will their lives intersect and intertwine?

    Last but not least, there are also four and twenty rare blackbirds who live in a mulberry tree right outside the café. How do they play into the story? And is it true that the blackbird pie served at the cafe is magical and provides those who eat it with a special message from a deceased loved one?

    I "flocking" LOVED this rich, vibrant, and charming story that touched on so many themes including love, grief, romance, forgiveness, and letting go of past hurts. This book left me craving sweet tea, sad to leave Wicklow's inhabitants, and yearning to taste blackbird pie in order to receive a message from my own dearly departed mother. The book's dedication definitely applies to me:

    Location: Wicklow, Alabama

    I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  • Rebecca

    This was such a beautiful book and I'm sad that it's over. This book has some of my favorite things; a small town, magic realism, bits of humor, a dash of romance and wonderful characters. The writing was so poignant and the storylines of each character melded together so well. The author did an amazing job of creating a bit of magical feeling in this small town, with the blackbirds and the pies, but also with the characters. This was an emotional and deep book, looking at grief and family and t

    This was such a beautiful book and I'm sad that it's over. This book has some of my favorite things; a small town, magic realism, bits of humor, a dash of romance and wonderful characters. The writing was so poignant and the storylines of each character melded together so well. The author did an amazing job of creating a bit of magical feeling in this small town, with the blackbirds and the pies, but also with the characters. This was an emotional and deep book, looking at grief and family and trauma from the past. It is not a book you can race through, rather it's one that I read more slowly so I could savor and absorb each word.

    Anna Kate returns to the town where her mother grew up and her grandmother owned the Blackbird Cafe. She is dealing with the grief of losing both these women, the stress of running the cafe when she knows she will have to leave, and the secrets of her mother's past that cannot be kept secret anymore.

    Natalie is returning to the same small town after her husband's death. She is also bringing grief, but also the hurt of betrayal, the stress of having nowhere else to turn with her small daughter Ollie, and the struggle of knowing that she doesn't have the most loving relationship with her mother. (Ollie was the star of the book and always made me smile or laugh even when the moments were deep and emotional.)

    This story encompasses so many things and beautifully weaves them all together into not only the story of Natalie and Anna Kate, but of all the other characters and even the town itself. Not every family is linked by love, some by hate and secrets and it seems desperate at times. Not everyone deals with grief the same way, and this is explored immensely, as each character has had their own hurt. But it's amazing how the pull of this town (and the magic of the pies) seems to help each person deal with their hurts in their own way and allow them to grow so much. The past can haunt everyone, but it is true strength to want to change the past in order to help your future and also how family bonds that have been severed still have life in them.

    I love the blackbirds and the cafe were the linchpin to the story - they were vital for the rejuvenation of the town, but also had a huge part of the development and growth of each character. The description of the birds and their songs and the mulberry trees were beautiful touches to the story. I loved all the magical realism (and especially the subtler things that were not ever fully explained, but if you were looking you could catch).

    I already miss this town and all the people. If the Blackbird cafe were a real place I would love to stop by and see the Blackbirds sing at midnight, buy something from Natalie and taste the pie. I highly recommend this book!

    Thank you to the publisher for a free copy. I was happy to share my honest thoughts.

  • Susan Peterson

    Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is a heart-squeezer!! This lovely story about forgiveness, grief, family, and home is set in a small town, filled with southern charm, and a bit of magic!! The characters in this book are unique, quirky, complicated and delightful!! I fell in love with each and every one of them, and all I want to do is sit down and chat with them, eating pie and drinking blackberry tea! This book is guaranteed to make you smile, maybe even cry, but mostly what it will do is make y

    Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is a heart-squeezer!! This lovely story about forgiveness, grief, family, and home is set in a small town, filled with southern charm, and a bit of magic!! The characters in this book are unique, quirky, complicated and delightful!! I fell in love with each and every one of them, and all I want to do is sit down and chat with them, eating pie and drinking blackberry tea! This book is guaranteed to make you smile, maybe even cry, but mostly what it will do is make you FEEL.

  • Romancebooksandmore

    I want to rave about this book, I want to curl up and read it all over again. I want to cry from the warmth and heartbreak, family and friendship of it all.

    Family, Friends, secrets, feuds, Mystery, Magic, Romance, Past, Present and future all roll together in this amazing book. you are not going to want to put it down.

    come along with Anna Kate and Natalie as two very different but similar woman come together, both running from past hurts, neither knowing of the other's existence but seeming to

    I want to rave about this book, I want to curl up and read it all over again. I want to cry from the warmth and heartbreak, family and friendship of it all.

    Family, Friends, secrets, feuds, Mystery, Magic, Romance, Past, Present and future all roll together in this amazing book. you are not going to want to put it down.

    come along with Anna Kate and Natalie as two very different but similar woman come together, both running from past hurts, neither knowing of the other's existence but seeming to pull together.

    both girls feel pain, both girls need to learn to let love, family and friends in, they both learn that it's okay to ask for help. you don't have to stand on your own two feet all the time.

    a story of mothers and daughters at the very core everything else is just icing on the cake or blueberry's in the pie. comes out Tuesday so run out and pick up a copy.

    won this book from bookishfirst for a fair and honest review, all views my own.

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON AUGUST 8.

    Can you really leave Wicklow once you have spent time there?

    Anna Kate came back for her grandmother's funeral and stayed in Wicklow because she was required to spend sixty days there to inherit The Blackbird Cafe. Anna's mother vowed to NEVER return to Wicklow, and Anna finds out why as the days pass.

    MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE was a cozy, nostalgic read that will have you wanting to be in that adorable, loving town and visiting The Blackbird Cafe.

    If you need a

    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON AUGUST 8.

    Can you really leave Wicklow once you have spent time there?

    Anna Kate came back for her grandmother's funeral and stayed in Wicklow because she was required to spend sixty days there to inherit The Blackbird Cafe. Anna's mother vowed to NEVER return to Wicklow, and Anna finds out why as the days pass.

    MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE was a cozy, nostalgic read that will have you wanting to be in that adorable, loving town and visiting The Blackbird Cafe.

    If you need an uplifting read, be sure to put MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE on your reading list.

    A truly enjoyable, sweet read. 5/5

    This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Marilyn

    A Wonderful Book About Family, Friends, Love, a Past and a New Future

    Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber was a well written book. I was drawn in right from the start. It allowed me to forget about everything else and immerse myself in the lives of the characters in this story. A cozy, comforting feeling surrounded me as I read Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. By the end of the story, I felt like I knew each character and felt a kinship with them. The story alternately focused on Anna

    A Wonderful Book About Family, Friends, Love, a Past and a New Future

    Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber was a well written book. I was drawn in right from the start. It allowed me to forget about everything else and immerse myself in the lives of the characters in this story. A cozy, comforting feeling surrounded me as I read Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. By the end of the story, I felt like I knew each character and felt a kinship with them. The story alternately focused on Anna Kate Callow and Natalie Linden Walker.

    The story began in Wicklow, Alabama located in the northeast part of the state. It was a small, intimate southern town where everyone knew everyone else. There was something quite special and unique about Wicklow, though. In the mulberry trees right beside The Blackbird Cafe, blackbirds lived and only appeared between midnight and one a.m. When anyone who was lucky enough to hear them sing their beautiful song knew it was something that they would never forget. There was something else that even the locals flocked to Blackbird Cafe for on a regular basis. The homemade blackberry pie was known to allow their recipients to hear the voices of their loved ones that had departed while they slept. Some thought this very comforting and made it a ritual.

    It was in this town that Anna Kate arrived to bury her beloved grandmother, Zee. This was Anna Kate's first time in Wicklow even though her mother had lived there most of her life until she was 17. Her mother, now deceased, had made Anna Kate promise that she would never go back to Wicklow. A long time ago, while living in Wicklow, something very tragic happened to her mother and she left Wicklow never to go back. Twenty-five years ago, there was a car accident that killed her mother's boyfriend who was also Anna Kate's father. Her mother was blamed by her boyfriend's family for killing their son. Her mother pledged never to go back. Remembering the promise Anna Kate had made to her mother, Anna Kate was anxious to settle her grandmother's estate, sell the Blackbird Cafe and return to Massachusetts where she was enrolled in medical school for the fall semester. When the terms of the will were revealed to Anna Kate, though, she learned that she had to remain in Wicklow and run the cafe for sixty days before she could settle her grandmother's estate and collect her inheritance. Knowing how her mother felt about this place, Anna Kate was not at all happy about the stipulations of the will. Anna Kate decided to give running the cafe a chance. None of the locals had ever met Anna Kate and so she quickly became the center of attention and their curiosity was awoken. Neither of which appealed to Anna Kate but she immersed herself full- heartily in trying to fill her grandmother's shoes by running the Blackbird Cafe and making the famous blackbird pies and trying to learn everything she could about her father.

    At her grandmother's funeral, Anna Kate was greeted by many of the people of Wicklow. Everyone had something nice to say about Zee and wanted to know more about Anna Kate. Was she planning on staying? Why had they never met her before? Perhaps the most unusual occurrence of all was the flock of blackbirds that appeared at Zee's funeral to pay their respects to her. The blackbirds had been spotted swooping their way through town heading to Zee's funeral. When Anna Kate was a little girl her grandmother used to tell her stories about the blackbirds. The story went "Once upon a time, there was a family of Celtic women with healing hands and giving hearts, who knew the value of the earth and used its abundance to heal, to soothe, to comfort. Doing so filled their souls with peace and happiness. Those women held a secret." "The women are guardians of a place where, under midnight skies, spirits cross from this world through a mystical passageway to the Land of the Dead." Her grandmother often told her that it was the job of "us guardians to tend the trees, nurture them, and gather their love to bake into pies to serve those who mourn, those left behind.' Anna Kate had learned from her grandmother that the blackbirds played an important part in her heritage and who she was. Therefore, it was only fitting that the blackbirds appeared at Zee's funeral. None of the locals even questioned it but the tourists were baffled.' This phenomenon led to an unusual amount of bird watchers and tourists arriving in Wicklow. They wanted to have a chance of seeing the blackbirds. Wicklow, soon became a lot busier than usual.

    Natalie Linden Walker came back to Wicklow after her husband drowned and left her a widow. Her husband had lost his job and accumulated lots of debt before he drowned and died. Natalie knew nothing of his financial worries. Having had to sell off everything to settle her dead husband's debt, Natalie and her young daughter, Ollie (Olivia Leigh) found themselves living in her parent's guest cottage. As a result of all the trauma Natalie had experienced when her husband died, she was experiencing panic attacks. She made sure she and Ollie stayed away from any kind of body of water, too. Natalie's mother, Seelie Earl Linden, never approved of Natalie's husband. Natalie and her mother hadn't had a good relationship from the time Natalie was a toddler. After losing her eighteen year old son in that tragic car accident, Seelie wrapped herself in a cocoon of grief. Her once warm, loving relationship with Natalie, who was three when her brother died, became one that had frozen Natalie out of her life. There was "a stone-cold silence" in place of smiles, hugs and kisses. Natalie, had heard over the years, that eating the blackberry pie made at the Blackberry Cafe, allowed a person who had lost a love one the opportunity to hear from the deceased in their dreams. Natalie was never sure if her husband's drowning had been an accident or suicide. She needed to know to move on. Natalie was convinced she would find out the truth by eating the blackberry pie. There was one big obstacle though. The Lindens and the Callows were not on speaking terms. No member of the Linden family had stepped into the Blackbird Cafe since the accident.

    When each of my parents passed away there was a moment when days after they died they allowed me to see them one more time for an instant. It was comforting. Memories always allow us to hold our dear ones that have departed close to us forever. They are never far from our thoughts.

    This is the first book I have read by Heather Webber. The characters were rich, complex and most likable. As the plot of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe developed their was the underlying factor of family being most important. There was anger, grief, love, forgiveness and letting go of the past. Both Anna Kate and Natalie had to learn to do what was good and right for them, not what everyone expected or wanted them to do. I hope there is a sequel to this book. It could most certainly be a mini series on Netflix. I highly recommend Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber.

  • Alison

    This was one of those books that pulls you in before you even realize it's happened. I started it, thought I liked it fine but didn't love it, kept reading it, and then put it down for a few hours - and my thoughts kept wandering back to it. Turns out I liked it a lot more than I first thought. It seems fitting, almost, given the trajectory and plot of the book, and the recurring theme of the central town taking hold of you and not letting you go.

  • Beth McCraw

    I want a piece of Blackbird pie and blackberry sweet tea! This book was so charming and sweet! It was also so much more than a fluffy story, there were important family dynamics and community relationships throughout. I really enjoyed the magical realism in this story. It reminded me of Sarah Addison Allen book, so if you love a good hometown, feel good story with a touch of magical realism, this one is for you! I really hope there is another book, I would like to catch up again with these chara

    I want a piece of Blackbird pie and blackberry sweet tea! This book was so charming and sweet! It was also so much more than a fluffy story, there were important family dynamics and community relationships throughout. I really enjoyed the magical realism in this story. It reminded me of Sarah Addison Allen book, so if you love a good hometown, feel good story with a touch of magical realism, this one is for you! I really hope there is another book, I would like to catch up again with these characters and make another trip to that southern town of Wicklow! Thank you to the publisher and Bookish First for the opportunity to read this book ahead of publication. All thoughts are my own. Don’t let this pass you by!

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