This story is pure magic!
Just before Anna Kate’s mother died, she promised her she would become a doctor. So when Anna Kate’s Granny Zee died, her mother’s mother, who owned a restaurant in small town Wicklow, Alabama, called The Blackbird Cafe, and willed the restaurant to Anna Kate for a certain period of time before she would be allowed to sell, she was just baffled. But Anna Kate loved her grandmother and put her promise of medical school aside (for now) to fulfill her Granny’s wishes.
But as we all know, things just never turn out as they are suppose to. Anna Kate must return to the small town where her late father’s family practically ran her mother out of town. So not only does Anna Kate have to deal with running a restaurant and baking special blackberry pies which have been baked for generations by the women in her family, but she must also deal with her father’s family, especially her father’s mother who for some unknown reason blames her mother for the death of her father.
But as she begins to relax in the town, where a group of birdwatchers have taken up residence to watch the famous blackbirds come out at midnight to sing, something unheard of, and as she tries very hard to perfect the pie her Granny has left her responsible for baking (without a recipe), which helps them sing, she begins to settle into what small town life can be, comfortable. And although she feels sadness that she will never be accepted into her father’s family, she is still planning on leaving when the time arrives, but she does hope she can find out what really happened to her father.
Then there are the new people in her life whom she has grown fond of. The people who were strangers to her when she first came and have now become her friends. There problems have become her problems and all she wants to do is help them. It certainly will be hard for her to leave them.
So as time begins to fly by and her situation starts to draw to a close, Anna Kate faces the most difficult decision of her life. Does she go against the promise she made to her mother and not become a doctor, or does she stay in this little slice of heaven where blackbirds are magical and everybody knows everyone. What would her mother think. If only she could talk to her one last time…
Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is the best of all possible stories. It has funny characters, mystery, and lots of love and conflict. It’s a place not only Anna Kate is conflicted about leaving, but so is the reader who never wants this mystical, feel good story to end.