One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker

** I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY for this one over on Instagram! Check it out! **

You guys. THIS book.⁣

Picture this:⁣

Late 1800’s Wyoming – 2 farms – nothing else around for miles and miles. Wife from Farm 1 has an affair with husband from Farm 2. Husband from Farm 1 shoots and kills husband from Farm 2, and then gets sent to jail. Soooo – all the husbands are gone. Which leaves the wives, during the harshest winter ever – to shack up and live together in harmony, with their children, in order to survive.⁣

Sounds fun right??⁣

I started reading this book going in blind. I wasn’t really sure what it was about. The opening few chapters start off with a bang and really hook you in. The setting is so intriguing and the characters are so vivid. It was hard to stop once I got started.

When Nettie Mae’s husband is shot after having “relations” with Cora, the two must combine households in order to survive the winter without their husbands to tend to the farms. Nettie Mae’s son Clyde and Cora’s daughter Beulah – both teenagers – are the only real help they have to keep things running. Along with Cora’s three little children, they’ve got a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of animals and crops to take care of.

“Enchanting…A skillful storyteller, Hawker serves up seemingly endless pages with vivid Wyoming descriptions…A suspenseful female-survivor story, about hardship on the frontier.” —Authorlink

As the winter gets harsher we find several incredibly tense situations occur within the group. We also follow the blossoming friendship that occurs between Clyde and Beulah. While Clyde struggles to take over for his father, and Beulah – a free spirit who sometimes blends in with the wild backdrop of the Wyoming frontier – tries to keep the peace within the families – and do her part as well.

I loved watching the bonds between all the characters. And to see how they were tested in so many ways – as the matriarchs continue to lash out at one another – all while trying to keep one another alive.

“Set in 1876 Wyoming, One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow is a deftly crafted historical novel that fully captures hardscrabble life on the American frontier. An absorbing read from first page to last, and highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

I am SWOONING over this book. It is SO gorgeously written and the story is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. There’s murder and heartbreak, epic conflicts and riveting situations, strong women and lots of sass. There’s young love, stunning descriptions of nature and animals, and even a touch of magic.⁣

AND… you are going to want to read the Author’s Note at the end of this one. It is FASCINATING!

This book IS magical. It’s so lovely and I hope you’ll pick this one up. Or even better still – you can win a copy!!⁣

Thank you TLC Book Tours, Amazon Publishing { #partner }, Olivia Hawker, and Lake Union Publishing for the chance to read this exquisite book!⁣


  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1542006910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1542006910


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

once-for-the-blackbirdFrom the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.

Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.

Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

About Olivia:

imagesThrough unexpected characters and vivid prose, Olivia Hawker explores the varied landscape of the human spirit. Olivia’s interest in genealogy often informs her writing. Her first two novels from Lake Union Publishing, The Ragged Edge of Night and One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow (2019), are based on true stories found within the author’s family tree. She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, where she homesteads at Longlight, a one-acre microfarm dedicated to sustainable permaculture practices. She also writes as Libbie Hawker.

Connect with Olivia

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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8 thoughts on “One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker

  1. I love when the Author’s Note is the perfect ending for a book- sometimes I skip those but often times I just skim it. I love getting an idea of how the author came up with the story. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly the same here Sara! I buddy read this with a friend and she finished first and said “you HAVE to read the author’s note!” So I did, and I was blown away! What a wonderful story!!


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