In the Middle of Hickory Lane is a Southern magical realism book by Heather Webber, featuring Emme Wynn and her cousin, Cora Bee. Both were trying to heal from past trauma in a friendly Southern community boasting a magical garden.
Emme Wynn is desperate to end her aimlessly drifting life and settle down. When her long-estranged grandmother, Glory, reaches out to her, inviting her to Sweetgrass, Alabama, it seems like the perfect opportunity. Here she meets Cora Bee, her cousin, who has faced more than her share of misfortune. The friendly community and the magical garden in the midst of it seem to be a nurturing place, a safe refuge for both to heal. Yet, Emme cannot help feeling like an imposter. What happens when her shady past finally catches up with her? In the Middle of Hickory Lane, a magical realism novel by Heather Webber, holds the answers.
In this book, Webber uses her golden touch to twist even the most mundane events into something miraculous. Under her deft writing, the Southern charm comes alive. The garden in the middle of Hickory Lane, verdant with beautiful flowers and buzzing bees, pulsates with magic. The serene, albeit whimsical, gazing pool reflects the past to worthy visitors. Glory’s garden lessons elaborate on the hidden symbolism of each flower. The lush setting makes everything seem brighter. Webber’s writing makes us feel that magic is hidden within plain sight and can be found in everyday life only if we look for it. The enchanting novel reaches out to us, changing our lives in inexplicable ways.
It is a story of healing, soothing not only one’s body but also the spirit. Webber does not flinch while showing how painful the past can be. Yet, the characters remind us that we need not carry our burdens lifelong. We cannot let the past go away overnight; however, we can make progress gradually, one little step at a time. There will be setbacks, doubts, and mistrust plaguing us, obscuring our ways. There will be days when we might feel like giving up. Yet, life will find a way if we persevere. The novel makes us believe that although everyone is a little broken, there is a chance for all. The open doors will wait for us to tear down our self-imposed barriers and take a brave step forward.
It is a story of love and friendship. The strong bond between Glory and Dorothy is enviable, although the budding camaraderie between Emme and Cora Bee comes a close second. The story reminds us that a family consists not only of blood relations but also of people close to our hearts. Life is rewarding when we can count on someone to have our backs no matter what. The novel sports a couple of charming guys who will surely steal your heart. The air is full of love and new promises; however, the relationships have much more depth than simple small-town romances. Webber explores the nuances of each relation without rushing, giving them adequate time to develop.
The breathtaking cover art is paralleled only by the charming storyline. The ending twist that comes as a welcome surprise sheds new light on the story. The book leaves a lingering feeling of bliss in our hearts. I recommend In the Middle of Hickory Lane to anyone looking for a magical, uplifting read.
- Title: In the Middle of Hickory Lane
- Author: Heather Webber
- Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism, Contemporary Women’s Fiction
- Publication Date: 26 July 2022
- ISBN or ASIN: B09CNF8LS6
- Number of Pages: 314
- Minimum Audience Age: 15
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 1
- Religious themes: 0
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 3
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 0
- Other adult themes: 3
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 5 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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