Title:- In the Middle of Hickory Lane
Author:- Heather Webber
Date published:- will be published on July 26th 2022
No. of pages:- 320 pages
Genre:- Fiction/Magic Realsm
Overall rating:- 5/5
From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe comes Heather Webber’s next charming novel, In the Middle of Hickory Lane!
Emme Wynn has wanted nothing more her whole life than to feel like part of a family. Having grown up on the run with her con artist mother, she’s been shuffled from town to town, drawn into bad situations, and has learned some unsavory habits that she’s tried hard to overcome. When her estranged grandmother tracks her down out of the blue and extends a job offer—helping to run her booth at an open-air marketplace in small-town Sweetgrass, Alabama—Emme is hopeful that she’ll finally be able to plant the roots she’s always dreamed of. But some habits are hard to break, and she risks her newfound happiness by keeping one big truth to herself.
Cora Bee Hazelton has her hands full with volunteering, gardening, her job as a color consultant and designer, and just about anything she can do to keep her mind off her painful past, a past that has resulted in her holding most everyone at arm’s length. The last thing she wants is to form close relationships only to have her heart broken yet again. But when she’s injured, she has no choice other than to let people into her life and soon realizes it’s going to be impossible to keep her heart safe—or her secrets hidden.
In the magical neighborhood garden in the middle of Hickory Lane, Emme and Cora Bee learn some hard truths about the past and themselves, the value of friends, family, and community, and most importantly, that true growth starts from within.
This is the fourth book I have read of Heather Webber and I have always enjoyed reading all her books. Her books are based on magic realism and belief coupled with fiction and the a bit of family drama.
In the Middle of Hickory Lane talks about a woman named Emme Wynn who comes to small town, Sweetgrass Alabama from Louisville hoping to stop moving around from town to town and settle down. She started living with her so called grandmother, Glory who had actually tracked her down. While Emme is living a life in the small town, she has a small secret that may affect the newfound relationship.
Cora Bee is another character who after going through a heartbreaking divorce returns back to the small town. She then gets into an accident and meets Jamie and his daughter Alice and their dog, Mabel. As she was injured, Cora, who is a private person reluctantly allows people in her life–including Emme and Jamie. She and Emme becomes best friends and Cora was reluctant to fall in love with Jamie because of her recent heartbreak.
The story is told from the perspectives of Emme and Cora so as a reader we know what each of the characters’ are going through. Before the start ot the chapter, snippets of the past 1963 or Glory’s gardening lessons are written, which was actually interesting to read. I do like the fact that besides the magic realism, there’s a small bit of thriller involved where some skeletal remains are found in the backyard of a house in the neighborhood and that a man named Levi, who was a fraudster and a possible murderer who left the town back in 1963. The author has done a good job of drawing the reader into the story and making the reader feel like they are part of the story. I did like the possible romances between Cora and Jamie and Emme and Chase. Of course the ending was predictable but it was actually enjoyable to read. I also do like the characters of Cora and Emme and how in fact they both suffer from insecurities and in the end they both overcame that while living in the town.
If you like a fiction with a magic realism as a background with a small thriller in it and some family drama, then this book is one for you. Can’t wait to read more books from this author! Worth five stars
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.
Heather Webber (aka Heather Blake) is the author of more than twenty-five novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She loves to read, drink too much coffee and tea, birdwatch, crochet, and bake. She currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and is hard at work on her next book.www.heatherwebber.com | http://www.heatherblakebooks.com