My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How well do you really know the people you are closest to? That is one of the many questions posed in The Blackbird Season. Nate is the popular teacher/baseball coach that all the kids seem to like and go to when they need help. Alicia, Nate’s wife, has lost touch with him because her whole world is their autistic son and there is little space there for Nate, so when Nate is accused of having an affair with one of his students, Alicia can’t be certain he is innocent. Even his good friends question Nate’s behavior. Why was he seen with the troubled girl with the striking white hair outside a cheap hotel? What explains the strange things the girl wrote in her creative writing assignments?
This rollercoaster of a novel shines a harsh light on small town life. Nate was a life-long resident that was beloved by his students and their parents, yet they are more than willing to condemn him. They are also more than willing to condemn the poor troubled girl Nate supposedly took advantage of as long as it made them feel their children were not in danger. At the heart, this is a story of loss – loss of a marriage, loss of a spouse, loss of a friendship, loss of trust.
Kate Moretti has woven another wonderful tale of suspense and insight and I look forward to her next fabulous work. Thank you to The Tall Poppies, and NetGalley for furnishing me with a review copy of the novel.