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Jukebooks: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat WintersThis week the link between our book and our song is romance of the spirit. Cat Winter’s In the Shadow of Blackbirds is set in San Diego, California, in 1918. World War I has been droning on for years, killing and maiming young soldiers abroad, while a deadly influenza virus claims victims in the United States. Our heroine, Mary Shelley Black, has secretly pledged her love to Stephen, just before he leaves to go fight. When Stephen returns to her, their love affair moves in a completely new direction.

The lovely song Fade Into You is from the television show Nashville and is sung by Clare Bowen (who plays Scarlett) and Sam Palladio (who plays Gunnar). It has such a haunting melody and expresses an all-consuming love, much like I think of Mary Shelley’s and Stephen’s intense connection.

An interesting side note, both Bowen and Palladio, who sing in such luscious Southern accents, are Australian and British, respectively. In the video below they speak naturally about their singing backgrounds and picking up the Tennessee twang.

— Diane Colson, currently reading Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange (advance reading copy) and listening to Transatlantic by Colum McCann, narrated by Geraldine Hughes

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Diane Colson

I have been a librarian working with youth since 1998, beginning at the Alachua County Library District, and later at Palm Harbor Library and Nashville Public Library. Possibly because of the edgy nature of teen literature, or possibly because my maturation process crashed at the age of fifteen years-old, I love YA books. And I enjoy working with YAs as well, although I'm just as happy doing Toddler Time. By some good fortune, I have served on a number of YALSA selection committees (Outstanding Books for the College Bound, Popular Paperbacks, Alex Award, Odyssey Award, Nonfiction Award, Morris Award, and Printz) as well as a smattering of process committees. Currently I am serving on the YALSA Board. .I also review books for VOYA, School Library Journal's Adult4Teen Blog, BookPage, and Booklist.


  1. I love all of your jukebooks, but I especially love this one! It’s one of my favorite songs from the series, and it totally fits the book perfectly.

  2. Diane Colson Diane Colson

    Thank you!

    I’m always looking for ideas, so if anyone has a good book-song connection, let me know!

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