Monday, September 6, 2021

Under the Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse REVIEWED

About the Book:

When Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country in 1949, she knows her life will change--but she could never imagine just how dramatically

Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their unique culture, most of the residents come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher, and she's soon teaching just about everyone, despite opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives. Yet it's the lessons Ellie herself will learn--from new friends, a captivating Cajun fisherman, and even a legendary white alligator haunting the bayou--that will make all the difference.

Take a step away from the familiar and enter the shadowy waters of bayou country for a story of risk, resilience, and romance.

My Thoughts:

"Maybe you crossed over something when you went through the tunnel.  Now you can see something yyou couldn't see before, but at the same time, you can't go back."  (p. 155)

Something magical and unforgettable happens between the first and last pages of this novel.  Truly.  Ellie Fields decision to leave her safe place of comfort and privilege that her familial home offered seems a non-event at first.  Many women have made that choice over time. It is her entrance into the bayou community facing unjust laws that threaten their unique way of life where the magic begins to happen.

Ellie leaves her heart open to be changed and challenged, and she is richly rewarded because of her openness.  The people of the community are suspicious and closed off to Ellie's presence at first, but, over time, she wins the heart of both the community and one very special Cajun fisherman.

As the story develops, it becomes clear that there is, in fact, a real threat to the community, and some lose much as the threat becomes visible.  There are many difficult choices to be made for both Ellie and her new community, and their journey....well, it's magically transformative if you leave your heart open to receive the life lessons lived out through the relationships within this story!

I LOVED THIS BOOK!! I'm sure you will too!!

About the Author:

Valerie Fraser Luesse
 is the bestselling author of Missing Isaac, Almost Home, and The Key to Everything, as well as an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently senior travel editor. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse received the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society for her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana. A graduate of Auburn University and Baylor University, she lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Dave.

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