Nightbird by Alice Hoffman


“Just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, the world surprises you. This is especially true in Sidwell, a small town in the Berkshires. Rumor has it that Sidwell is home to a monster, and tales of sightings draw in as many tourists as do the town’s famed Pink apples. Twig’s mom owns the orchard and bakes irresistible pies. Because of a family secret, Twig has tried her best to be invisible, but when two girls named Julia and Agate move into Mourning Dove Cottage next door, everything changes. A witch lived there once, and Twig’s mother has always forbidden her to step inside. But Julia might just be Twig’s first true friend, and her ally in vanquishing the ancient curse.”

-Synopsis from inside front cover


Cover image from StoryGraph

Since I am on an unofficial mission to read everything Alice Hoffman has written, it should come as no surprise that this includes her children’s and young adult books. Nightbird is everything her adult books are known for, including quaint small towns sprinkled with magical realism, relatable characters both young and old, and of course, witches.

Twig is a very endearing character. She has lived a secluded life for reasons the reader soon learns, and when the new family moves in next door her hopefulness at finding a friend takes over any desire to continue keeping secrets. She has to learn how to trust Julia and Agate which, after years of not interacting with anyone in the town, is easier said than done.

Twig’s family secret is a big one and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book, but I will say that once I read the section where it was revealed, I thought this is what I love the most about Alice Hoffman’s books: her ability to surprise you with almost every page.

This was a delightful story and I really enjoyed reading it.

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