I have enjoyed this author’s books before. She writes a beautiful story with characters that burrow right into your heart. I read it with the southern cadence ringing in my ears. She makes you care about the people and the country of the Bayou.
I love the warmth and compassion that schoolteacher Ellie has for the children and adults of Bernadette, Louisiana. And they, in turn, take her in as one of their own. Raphe is steady and strong as he shares his life with his orphaned nephew Remy. Heywood is shown as a steadfast and impartial friend with a ready wit. I liked the historical facts about the Cajun people and the terrific legend of the white alligator.
Ms. Luesse laces her story with beautiful settings of the Bayou: “She opened her eyes, waiting for the first streak of light in the night sky. It came soon enough-first a faint silvery slit in the blackness that slowly lengthened before opening itself to sunrise colors of pale pink and coral.”
She includes customs of the times, political intrigue, dangerous situations and a sweet romance. It has all the feels, sometimes bringing me to tears.. This author is quite a storyteller. You can tell that God and his ways are important to the main characters and right and wrong are clearly shown.
A superb story that has you wanting more.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *5+stars and a faint faith thread
Restless with the familiarity of her Alabama home, Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country. Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their culture, most of the people in tiny Bernadette, Louisiana, come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher as a boon to the town. She's soon teaching just about everyone--and coming up against opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives.
Acclimating to a whole new world, Ellie meets a lonely but intriguing Cajun fisherman named Raphe who introduces her to the legendary white alligator that haunts these waters. Raphe and Ellie have barely found their way to each other when a huge bounty is offered for the elusive gator, bringing about a shocking turn of events that will test their love and their will to right a terrible wrong.
A master of the Southern novel, Valerie Fraser Luesse invites you to enter the sultry swamps of Louisiana in a story that illuminates the struggle for the heart and soul of the bayou.