Publisher: Atria Books
“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…
Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”
In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.
Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.
And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.
Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.
Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.
The Blackbird Season is one of those books that had me gripped from the first page, there was something mesmerizing about this one, I was completely caught up in the lives of the residents of Mount Oanoke, Pennsylvania. I was so curious about the starlings and wondered how this bizarre event would tie into the story, almost as much as I was wondering what happened to Lucia…
This is told from four different perspectives and shifts back and forth over a few weeks. I don’t think any of the lead characters are super likable and their reliability is questionable, but I found myself relating wholeheartedly to Alicia. Her five year old son is autistic and I found myself nodding my head vigorously anytime she talked about her hopes, fears and worries for her son. Being a special needs mom to a kiddo with autism is the biggest challenge (and biggest gift!) I’ve ever faced in my life and Moretti captured the constant daily struggles absolutely perfectly, a truly accurate portrayal, bravo! While I made have had the strongest connection with Alicia all of the characters are extremely well crafted with strong, distinct voices.
The setting and overall mood is fantastic, there is a mystical, otherworldly vibe right from the start. There is an ominous feeling surrounding this bleak town creating an atmosphere that was haunting and even sinister at times. Mount Oanoke is a small town full of secrets and that will always grab my attention, and on top of that Moretti is a really outstanding writer. This has a slower pace with a steady buildup and while it doesn’t have many edge of your seat moments, the ending did ramp up the tension and intrigue, I was very engrossed. The Blackbird Season is an intelligent mystery with an eerie energy, this would be a fun one to add to your October TBR, it’s totally perfect for a fall read.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
About the Author:
Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year, Thought I Knew You, and Binds That Tie. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and kids. Find out more at katemoretti.com.