In the Middle of Hickory Lane is another heartwarming, touching, magical story from Heather Webber, author of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe.
In this story, the day Emme Wynn shows up in Sweetgrass, Alabama, in the middle of Hickory Lane to meet relatives she never knew because her mother left the town when she was a baby and never came back, there is major commotion going on. You see, a sink hole opened up on the street and skeletal remains discovered. Everyone is of course talking about the bones and if they are her great-grandparent’s who had gone missing back in the 1960’s.
The backstory on Emma is that her unmarried mother took her away in punishment to her father. Her mother proceeded to in the next years, steal, swindle, lie, have many relationships, some dangerous to both her and Emme, and go from town to town, state to state when people caught on to her. Then on Emme’s eighteenth birthday she wished Emme a happy birthday and told her good luck with her life. Emme now in her late twenties, has never seen her mother again.
But her determined grandmother who never really knew why Emme’s mother took her away, finally found her and convinced her to come back to Hickory Lane and stay with her and her other family. Extremely unsure of what is to come, Emme, who has never stayed in one place for long, just as her mother taught her, never even unpacks, for fear she will have to leave quickly. And although she wants to find her roots and get to know her family in Sweetgrass, she has a secret which she knows will destroy that hope.
Cara Bee Hazelton is related to Emme. She is not sure what to think of her. She is very protective of her grandmother and takes care of her. She does work and loves to garden on Hickory Lane. She keeps to herself and does not date. She tends to suffer from insomnia as she has too many past hurtful memories on her mind. But after Cora Bee has an accident, she hesitatingly agrees to let Emme stay with her to help her get around.
As Emme begins to meet the people of Sweetgrass, she begins to let her guard slip a bit. For the most part, people have accepted her, even Cora Bee, and most don’t ask about her past. As for Cora Bee, she begins to feel in Emme she has finally found a true friend.
But unfortunately for both of them, when some of their secrets come out, some not very nice, they will both be challenged by the news, and their friendship could be damaged, just as they both already feel damaged by their pasts which neither of them has been able to let go of.
As for those bones, when forensics comes back, the mystery of where the couple went will only deepen. You see, in a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business, secrets which are buried deep in the soil will eventually come to the surface and shock everyone. Will all these puzzles be solved? Will Emme and Cora be able to put their pasts behind them and start anew?
Webber’s new book does not disappoint. It has bits and pieces of mystery, romance, strong women, incredible secrets and friendship which all come together to make for an exciting read and a satisfying ending.