Friday, 22 May 2009

Book Review: What The Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy

I loved Patti's other book, An Irishwoman's Tale, so it was with pleasant anticipation that I sat down to read her second novel. It was also an honour to meet her during my USA odyssey last year!

I made the mistake of starting to read shortly before bedtime. An hour later I realised how late it was and flipped off the light. Ten minutes after that, I decided it was utterly useless to try and sleep. This book would not let me go until I finished it at an unearthly hour!

Sally, a Southern belle teaching in Illinois, is disturbed when one of her students is attacked. The course of events pulls long-hidden facts to light and forces her to deal with the consequences of her childhood's history.

Sally and Ella's friendship sheds light on the quagmire that hindered multicultural relations back in the 60's. To say that things were difficult back then is putting it mildly. Mistakes were made, lives ruined, childhoods destroyed by acts of violence and hate. Historical events are brought into the present in vivid colour as Sally, age 53, is confronted with her past that she left sunk in the bayou all those years ago.

I am amazed at the huge range of controversial topics the story covers. Abuse, denial, consequences and healing. Racism. Katrina. Murder. The supernatural. Friendship and betrayal. Mystery. Danger. These are disturbing ideas, and this is a highly disturbing story - in a good way, that stirs up emotion and conviction and awe.

Above all, this is a tale of a personal journey. Recovery from abuse is a difficult topic at the best of times, but Patti handles it with tact and gentleness. The consequences ring true for anyone who has experienced emotional pain. That's all of us somewhere, isn't it?

So if you're ready to face some shaking-up for your soul, go read this book. You won't be the same afterwards.

Watch the book trailer here.
Patti Lacy's website
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