The Blackbird Season

The Blackbird Season Traveling Sister Read with LindsayThe Blackbird Season is a dark, slow burning, eerie, haunting, suspenseful psychological thriller with some great elements to make it a haunting read A dying town where people know everything and will turn on each other without a care, an abandoned mill haunted by the loss of jobs and hope, dead birds, and a missing girl We both really enjoyed those haunting elements to the story and found them to be unique and suspenseful The Blackbird Season is a story of jealousy and obsession that explores the bonds of friendship, and marriage and the cruelty of teenagers Kate Moretti does a great job bringing some layers and depth to this story of a missing girl where all eyes point to her teacher by adding a well developed plot with his strained marriage to his wife and their son who has special needs The dynamics and desperation of the dying town add to the depth of the story and allowed us to see how easy they can turn on each other Kate Moretti cleverly had us guessing with whose truth is the truth and whose perception is the truth leaving us guessing throughout the story She paces this all very well and we both didn t figure the twists out until the very end I won t say much about how we felt about the ending as it would give too much away however overall we were satisfied.Thank you, NetGalley, Atria Books and Kate Moretti for a copy to read and review Our full Traveling Sisters Review can be found on your sister blog 3.25 Stars rounded down.Could you imagine a thousand starlings falling on you, while out watching a game Would you call it a natural phenomenon, toxic poisoning or would you blame a young teenage girl who no one likes and several kids in her High School refer to as a witch In Mt Oanoke, a small Pennsylvania town, as soon as the birds fall, things go from bad to worse Lucia Hamm, is a teenager who is a social outcast If it weren t for the support of best friend Taylor and her teacher Nate Winters, she wouldn t have anyone It s the support of her teacher however, that throws a wrench in everything as you can imagine Nate is the cool Teacher and Coach The guy who has his finger on the pulse of the High School He has fake Facebook and Twitter accounts and knows what is going on with everyone The parents in town love him He s Mr Popular The only person he s not all that popular with is his wife Alecia The reason He s hardly ever home and doesn t seem all that interested in helping her take care of their special needs son, Gabe Needless to say, it puts a strain on their marriage After Nate is accused of having an affair with Lucia, well things get worse Once she disappears, well you can imagine how things might go from there The outlook for Nate It s not very good Bridget Peterson is a teacher at the High School She is also one of Nate and Alecia s closest friends She is the only one who believes Nate and she will stop at nothing to find out what happened to Lucia and prove Nate s innocence The story is told in alternating viewpoints Lucia s, Alecia s, Bridget s and Nate s It is very effective That being said, The Blackbird Season was an enjoyable mystery which held my attention until the end, when my interest waned I felt that there was just something missing, and I can t quite put my finger on what On the whole, I did enjoy it and would read other books by Ms Moretti.Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Kate Moretti for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Published on NetGalley, Goodreads Twitter and Facebook on 10.22.17. Where Did They Come From Why Did They Fall The Question Would Be Asked A Thousand TimesUntil, Of Course, Important Questions Arose, At Which Time Everyone Promptly Forgot That A Thousand Birds Fell On The Town Of Mount Oanoke At AllIn 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 CommunityBeloved 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 Uproarand Leaving Alicia To Wonder If Her Husband Has A Second LifeAnd When Lucia Suddenly Disappears, The Police Have Only One Suspect NateNate 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 3.5 starsThis was an atmospheric psychological suspense mystery about a high school student who goes missing and the teacher who becomes the number one suspect The author, Kate Moretti, did a fabulous job creating a vivid picture of the unthriving small town devastated by the mill closure years prior The after effects lingering years later on the people, on the buildings, on the overall attitude of the gossipy, close knit community The abandoned mill seemed to be a haunting character itself hiding secrets and lies within its broken, run down structure I enjoyed the way the story was revealed through four characters POV s The chapter changes of narration kept a refreshing feel throughout the novel The slower paced storyline kept me intrigued for the most part, but my connection to the book wavered near the end.What I enjoyed most about this story was getting a glimpse into the life of a mothers love, struggles and commitment to her young autistic son My heart broke for Alecia, Gabe s mother, whose entire world revolved around monitoring, scheduling, organizing and tracking Gabe s growth, development and progress through therapy, meetings, organized play, doctor appointments, etc I could feel Alecia s stress and overwhelming sense of exhaustion She was a wonderfully dedicated mother and by far my favourite character.I was satisfied with the ending, but wished for it to have happened a bit differently Throughout the novel, there are some good twists and turns, but overall the book lacked a wow factor for me I would recommend it if you are looking for a relaxed and slower paced suspenseful mystery A big thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Kate Moretti for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review I really enjoyed reading this along with my lovely Traveling Sister Brenda To find this review along with Brenda s review, please visit Brenda and Norma s fabulous blog at EXCERPT He felt sick No matter what happened now, everything had just gotten worse All the pieces he d been clinging to had flown apart, scattering what was left of his life in a million directions He was in trouble, he d been in trouble, but now he was than in trouble, he was as dead as a person could be while still being alive In one heartbeat, he envisioned Alecia and Gabe huddled together on the couch, himself in prison, a 20 20 specialHe had no way of knowing that this moment would become the linchpin, the moment that all the moments after would hinge upon The papers would call him a murderer the police would come to him his ex friends, his gym buddies, the guys who knew him for God s sake and say, Nate was the last one to see her alive, right The last one is always the guilty one THE BLURB Where did they come from Why did they fall The question would be asked a thousand times Until, of course, 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.MY COMMENTS I struggled somewhat to become involved with this book I didn t particularly relate to any of the characters, which is not necessarily a problem But I was just over 40% into the story before I began to feel any kind of real interest, a spark, and that didn t last long The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti is told from four points of view, that of Alecia, Nate, Lucia and Bridget, which wasn t a problem The characters are well portrayed and rounded out Nate s life revolves around his baseball team and his students, with his wife Alecia and autistic son Gabe trailing somewhere behind in his priorities He is not a bad man He is very involved in the lives of his students, who both like and trust him As do their parents If he has a fault, it is that he is naive and can be arrogant Alecia s life is consumed by Gabe, their five year old autistic son She is totally focused on finding a cure for him, so that he can live a normal life so that she can live a normal life, so that she can be a soccer mum and one of the mums in the cliques at the school gate She resents that she is stuck in the house every day while Nate is out there cavorting with his students and monitoring their every move on social media She resents that he seems to care for them, than for his own wife and child There is a recipe for trouble to start with Add in Bridget Harris, Nate s coworker and colleague, who is still depressed following the death of her husband, struggling with her job and who has always had a bit of a thing for Nate And Lucia, trashy, blonde, abused and considered wierd Lucia who is randomly accepted and discarded by her classmates on a whim, and who has only ever had one true friend, Taylor But even that is changing.I so wanted to be captivated by the haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti s signature chillingly satisfying Publishers Weekly twists and turns , but I wasn t I regret to say that I didn t find it any of these things Instead of suspense filled, I got angst filled Disappointing Yes, but if the book had been depicted accurately, my expectations may not have been so high Thank you to Atria Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti for review All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own Therefore if you enjoyed the excerpt above, please go ahead and read this book For an explanation of my ratings, please visit my profile page on Goodreads.com or my about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com. First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Kate Moretti, and Atria Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.Having no previous knowledge of Moretti s work, I was able to read this novel without preconceived notions It is worth noting, though, I did falsely presume the premise of the story that would develop When thousands of starlings fall from the sky in the sleepy Pennsylvania town of Mt Oanoke, everyone is left baffled as to what it might mean and how it could have happened The reader may feel ready to synthesise a story that plays directly into this phenomena, but the narrative takes an interesting turn, plunging into heartfelt mysteries Told from the perspectives of a few characters and using flashback chapters, the reader is able to meet Nate and Alecia Winters, who are struggling through parenting their autistic son, Gabe Nate is the high school baseball coach and a teacher with whom many of the students have a close relationship When an allegation arises that a high school student, Lucia Hamm, and Nate are having a sexual relationship, the town splits as authorities try to decipher what is going on Added to the mix is the role of Bridget Harris, Lucia s creative writer teacher, who has come to learn some of her darkest thoughts through an ongoing journaling assignment As the story continues, the reader learns that this starling event proves to be the dividing line between Nate s apparent institutional assault of Lucia and the fallout that leads to the girl going missing Alecia is torn and unsure whether to support her husband, seeking to juggle the pointing when she is out in public with the realisation that Gabe might never be the normal child she seeks Lucia s disappearance turns into an even darker mystery, one that will make the massive avian raining event seem like a distance memory Moretti draws on the dramatic development of small town living to create this thriller that leaves the reader wondering how things will come together A great read for those who enjoy a sense of surprise enveloped in a mystery fuelled by fractured relationships.There is a great feel to this novel and Moretti s writing, as it pulls the reader in from the outset Without being able to compare it against some of her other work, I am left to offer my own independent sense of how things developed While the seemingly core event, the starling mass death, opens the novel, it can soon be seen to take a backseat to the dramatic development of the alleged sexual relationship between Nate and Lucia Moretti builds up all the characters, both central and surrounding, to reflect the news of this event, but also fleshes out a strong backstory to individualise them Woven throughout the novel is the angst felt by teenagers as they grow into their own personalities and the struggles of trying to raise a child who does not fit easily into society s notion of normalcy However, there is also the exploration of a couple torn apart because of their diametrically opposed interests in the family dynamic and the third wheel friend teacher, who is able to glimpse into the struggles of the student mind and the pain of seeing a colleague lose his way in his broken marriage In essence, it is placing love in its various forms under the literary microscope The mystery, which develops throughout the novel, is less the birds than the disappearance of a young student, one who has an agenda to divorce herself from the world and struggles to accept that she is not the most important person to the man she adores Moretti ties things up effectively and yet tosses a curve at the end, leaving the reader wondering how it all developed and what could have happened to precipitate such a drastic outcome A novel that forces the reader to play an active role and choose sides, Moretti is surely an author who deserves much attention by those who enjoy the genre.Kudos, Madam Moretti, for taking me on this journey I was left wondering throughout, both as it relates to the starlings and the larger town crisis Like hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge The Blackbird Season has all the makings of a Lifetime thriller Teacher accused of sleeping with his student Student disappears Police become involved Fingers are pointed Small town secrets revealed Scandal mounts Marriages are rocked Susan Lucci makes a cameo appearance Okay, maybe the Susan Lucci bit was a tad of an exaggeration Really though, this book is poised to become a love to hate watch flick The sheer volume of tropes contained within are staggering We ve got the Hometown Hero Golden Boy, Most Popular Teacher, All the Students Love Him guy played by Nate When Nate is accused of sleeping with one of his students, the death obsessed, pseudo goth, wrong side of the tracks Lucia, their small town ERUPTS Could Everyone s Favorite Teacher Baseball Coach be capable of such depravity GASP Who knows, but this wee hamlet s mighty eager to raise their pitchforks Add in heart rending side stories about Nate s troubled marriage, autistic son and a co worker coming to terms with her husband s death and..oh, what s that noise It s the violins They re playing already In and of itself, the writing is good Kate Moretti can string together a sentence like a pro She clearly intended The Blackbird Season to be a character driven piece Narration duties rotate between the four major players Nate, Lucia, Bridgetaforementioned grieving co worker , and Nate s wife Alecia In each section, a HUGE and I mean HUGE amount of time is spent on backstory and needless description If I read one passage on the town woods, I s2g.Character driven doesn t signify multiple paragraphs of flowery, pointless prose And with all this extraneous STUFF the narrative thread was lost and story stalled It simply became dull And then there s the characters..there are morally gray characters, which I fully support, and then there are those who are simply unlikeable Unfortunately too many of The Blackbird Season s players tended toward the latter It s hard to feel much sympathy for Nate when he s just so..DUMB The guy makes bad choice after bad choice No, you SHOULDN T go chasing after an 18 year old girl Especially, an 18 year old girl who s just told everyone you re sleeping together Especially AT NIGHT Especially, IN THE WOODS No, you SHOULDN T buy said girl a motel room NO, you SHOULDN T share your personal cell number with your students The list goes on and on C MON DUDE USE YOUR BRAIN And then there s Nate s wife, Alecia Man, I really wanted to like her I mean, she s a stay at home mother caring for a 5 year old autistic child That s unbelievably difficult I feel for her struggle I tried to like her But she just makes it so damn hard She s endlessly shrill, critical, and resentful A friend delivers a cheesecake to her house and she s ANNOYED That s Alecia in a nutshell And when her HUSBAND has lifechanging, horrific accusations leveled at him, she just.BAILS Or rather, kicks him out He gets no benefit of the doubt No faith NothingWhy do you defend him so much Like you don t even think of taking my side The whine came out, petulant, and Alecia could hear it but couldn t stop it. WHY DON T YOU DEFEND HIM He s your HUSBAND And this sort of betrayal happens repeatedly throughout the book There s multiple instances of Alecia using this case as an outlet for her pent up frustration with Nate He doesn t get a presumption of innocence Not from his wife He getsDid he catch her Kiss her Kill her Alecia had no ideaDid you ever, even for just a moment, consider that maybe just, maybe your husband is innocent Now, Nate s no picnic In addition to his blatant lack of common sense, he has the emotional maturity of a Kardashian Read not much He acts like a manchild who s in competition with his AUTISTIC SON for his wife s attention Grow up, bro Really, the only redeemable character here is Bridget And I just wanna say to her RUN BRIDGET RUN To sum up good writing, but predictable plot mostly irritating characters.Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced, complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. The Blackbird Season is a character driven, dark tale with transitioning POV between the 4 main characters Alecia, Nate, Lucia and Bridget It begins in a small town in Pennsylvania at a high school baseball game An ominous event.dead starlings raining down This will become a recurring theme throughout the book The community is toxic in ways than one Lucia, a troubled and neglected teen age girl is an outcast Some of the other students have taunted her and labeled her a witch Nate is a beloved and trusted teacher who becomes entwined in her personal life outside of school Alecia is Nate s wife and wonders why he has taken such an interest in Lucia Is it Lucia s wild white hair, her red lips, her youth And then there is Bridget, a fellow teacher at the high school She is a trusted friend of Nate and also Lucia s teacher After Lucia goes missing, the accusations and questions abound What happened to Lucia Why was Nate with her at a seedy motel Who is to be believed, to be trusted Will Nate s wife and close friends defend him or question his involvement The story is of a mystery about what happened to Lucia Although there were suspenseful moments, it was not an edge of your seat thriller in my opinion Also, the mystery of why the birds fell was of a omen than integral part of the story It is very well written with some shocking revelations, but not the type of thriller I was expecting If you enjoy a story where you are questioning why and who, this is one you will enjoy.Thank you to Netgalley Atria books for ArcPublication date is September 26, 2017 3.5 stars Decent mystery filled with unlikeable characters. The disappearance of a mysterious high school student who was supposedly having an affair with a beloved teacher turns a small town on its head in The Blackbird Season. Mt Oanake, a small mill town in Pennsylvania, is the kind of town that traps people With little means to get out, most people wind up stuck in this little gossipy place Baseball is one of the few things the town has going for it, and coach teacher Nate Winters is considered to be the town savior However, Nate s status changes in an instant when his affair with enigmatic student Lucia Hamm becomes front page news Nate becomes the town pariah he loses his teaching and coaching jobs, and his marriage is put in jeopardy Further complicating matters, Lucia goes missing and Nate was the last person to see her alive The Blackbird Season is told through the POV s of four main characters Lucia, Alecia Nate s Wife , Nate, and Bridget Nate s best friend I found all of the characters annoying, and this made it a bit of struggle to get through the book However, I appreciated the mystery and I liked how I was constantly questing Nate s innocence The opening scene is one of the most compelling parts, and I wish that had been done with the role of the blackbirds I also felt like a few things didnt add up, but I am not going to harp on them Nevertheless, The Blackbird Season held my interest.I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The Blackbird Season was my first read by Kate Moretti I have heard such wonderful things about her writing and was thrilled to explore this author.Kate Moretti delivers a character based novel that alternates between our 4 main characters Nate, Lucia, Alecia, and Bridget This is a slow burning mystery that takes you on one crazy ride trying to figure out who what why Mt Oanoke is a small town in Pennsylvania where nothing ever happens Until, our opening scene at the baseball field where thousands of starlings fall out of the sky Can we say freaky The town starts gossiping and some believe it s bad luck or the air is polluted Soon after the birds fall from the sky darkness looms over Mt Oanoke.Lucia is a lonely teenager with a troubled childhood who accuses her teacher and coach Nate Winters of having an affair with her Not long afterwards, Lucia disappears and the town really starts to question what happened to her Did Nate kill Lucia Hamm..the white haired girl who reads tarot cards OR is something sinister going on in this small town This novel is a slow burning suspense novel I would not categorize this as a psychological thriller not enough twists and turns for me I definitely liked the shifting of characters which added a level of mystery for me The characters are well developed and fits nicely into the story plot line I was disappointed in the ending of the novel and was left wanting I felt like the mystery wasn t complete I do have to say that I really liked how the blackbirds tied into the story I loved how this had a supernatural spiritual twist to it.Overall, 3 stars for me Thank you to Netgalley.

Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog She s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn t get to do those things as much as she d like.Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passa

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  • Paperback
  • 338 pages
  • The Blackbird Season
  • Kate Moretti
  • English
  • 03 April 2019
  • 9781501118456

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