Atria Books | September 2017| 352 pgs
Source: Library

When a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field in a quiet Pennsylvania town, no one could foresee that this is just the beginning of a catastrophe which will rock the close-knit community for the days to come. 

Nate Winters is a baseball coach and high school teacher and is well loved by many of the students in school. He follows his students on social media platforms as an onlooker and it says a lot about his concern for them but to some people his actions seem a bit overrated. He and Alecia are married and have a five-year-old son, Gabe, who is autistic. Before Gabe, Nate and Alecia used to have a wonderful marriage life but that all changed once Alecia has to stop working to take care of Gabe. 

Their relationship is further challenged when one of the many reporters investigating the fallen birds catches Nate embracing a student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia has a wild reputation in school and is often called a "witch" by some of her schoolmates. Nate, on the other hand, feels she is just a troubled teen with a broken family who needs attention. The news causes an uproar within the community when Lucia claimed she and Nate are in love. Nate denies they are engaged in an affair, but what happens next is the beginning of his nightmare when Lucia suddenly disappears and he seemed to be the last person who has seen her. 

Bridget Peterson is Nate's coworker and is friends to both Nate and Alecia. She and her late husband used to mingle a lot with the Winters couple but after Holden passed away with cancer and with Alecia busy with Gabe, Bridget retreats from their life but she is still close with Nate, considering they work in the same school. Lucia used to be a student at Bridget's creative writing class and while Bridget is bothered by some of her journal entries, there are others which perplexed her and have her wondering if there are some hidden messages within those entries. She has no doubts about Nate's innocence, but it seems no one believes in him, not even Alecia. Alecia has her own theory though, and in her opinion she thinks Nate only tells her part of the truth after she has found out that he had "liked" one of Lucia's pictures and what it is isn't flattering or even appropriate. So what happened to Lucia and who is telling the truth? 

Told in four alternating point of views (Lucia, Nate, Alecia and Bridget) and shifting back and forth in time, The Blackbird Season is a multi-layered story about a girl coming of age, teenage angst, a depiction of a marriage in crisis, issue of sexual assault as well as the effects of secrets amid a small town community. Sounds like a lot going on, isn't it? Although it came across as a more character-driven story than a plot-driven story in my opinion, there was still a mystery element within the story and I was curious to see how it all unfold towards the end and most of all, the truth behind Lucia's disappearance. Kate Moretti's writing is smooth and precise so this is another reason why I was drawn to the story. I'll definitely keep a look out for her future releases. 

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16 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I believe this one is on my tbr. I’m glad to hear it’s good.

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I hope you'll enjoy it as I did when you get to it.

  3. Kay Says:

    I have this one, but haven't read it yet. I did read her previous book, The Vanishing Year. Looking forward even more to this one now. Nice review, Melody!

  4. jenclair Says:

    I didn't finish this one. Maybe I should have given it more time!

  5. Lark Says:

    From that title and cover I was kind of hoping for a story with a supernatural twist. Oh, well. Can't win them all. ;D

  6. Iliana Says:

    I'm with Lark, I was wondering if there was going to be a supernatural element. I do have this on my Kindle and glad you gave it a good review!

  7. Melody Says:

    Kay - I'm curious about The Vanishing Year and hope to read it soon.

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Is it because of the subject or the characters that you didn't finish this one?

  9. Melody Says:

    Lark - That title and cover do sound like one with a supernatural twist, isn't it? Well, even if Lucia is called a "witch" she isn't really one. :p

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - It's quite misleading, isn't it? Still, it was a good read and I'm looking forward to more by this author.

  11. Nina Says:

    I donn't think I heard of this book before, but I like the description. I do have to say that it does sounds like a bit much, four? But, I'm glad that it didn't bother you at all. Great review.

  12. The Bookworm Says:

    This sounds very good, I like small town secrets. It sounds like the author pulls it all together nicely with the different POV's. Great review!

  13. Melody Says:

    Nina - Four narratives do sound a bit too much but I'm glad they aren't confusing and also it's good to hear from each perspective given all the circumstances.

  14. Melody Says:

    Naida - There's something about small town secrets, isn't it? I'm looking forward to reading her previous work, The Vanishing Year.

  15. I would like to read this one. I love the premise.

  16. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy it when you do read it, Wendy.

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