Monday, November 16, 2009

What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy - REVIEWED

What the Bayou Saw is not a light piece of fiction by any means. This is a brutally honest story about racism and the lies that maintain this practice until this very moment. I struggled a bit with the author’s style initially because it seemed difficult to separate the present from the past. However, as the story progressed, it became evident that the main character, Sally, was desperate to separate the two herself. The events that take place within this story will cause you to examine your own heart and determine how you define racism in your own life.

Sally is a college professor in Normal, Illinois. However, she grew up in Texas in the 60’s, and racism was taught to her through every adult in her life. And while the media and others would have you believe that racism is a one way street, I can promise you as a Southern native, it is very much a two-way attitude. Patti Lacy’s book reflects that truth too, and I was glad to see the honesty regarding both sides of this issue – especially since the main character, Sally, has to face both sides of this story in some very painful ways!

The things that took place in Sally’s childhood reflect what true relationship between races should look like when the color of skin is not even considered. Ironically, as she grew older, Sally began to lie about certain events in her life, and her subliminal ideas of racism fell victim to those lies. The perpetual state of untruth that bound Sally’s future to her past robbed her of far more than she ever realized for more than 25 years. Virtually every relationship in her life was tainted by her lies, and when one of her black students is assaulted and some of her white students are blamed, Sally finds herself face-first with both her past and present prejudices! And the final twist in relationships at the end of the story…brilliant!!

Overall, I thought this story was well-done, and I think the author did a great job dealing with some very difficult topics. Truth has been and always will be our most powerful liberator whether dealing with racial issues or any other issue in our life. Facing the truth isn’t always easy or pain-free, but the rewards can often be eternal!


Mocha with Linda said...

Excellent review. You always make me wish I had read the books I passed up!

Patti Lacy said...

Thanks for working your way through those muddy bayou waters.
Blessings and happy reading,