Book Review: What The Bayou Saw

23 Aug

429378_w185The past can’t stay buried forever Rising author Patti Lacy’s second novel exposes the life of Sally, set amid the shadows of prejudice in Louisiana. Since leaving her home in the South, Sally Stevens has held the secrets of her past at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband, has heard the truth about her childhood. But when one of her students is violently raped, Sally’s memories quickly bubble to the surface unbidden, like a dead body in a bayou. As Sally’s story comes to light, the lies she’s told begin to catch up with her. And as her web of deceit unravels, she resolves to face the truth at last, whatever the consequences.patti-lake

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master’s-level courses in English at Indiana State University. She taught at Heartland Community College until May 2006, when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal, Illinois.

My Impressions:

In the afterword of her novel, Patti Lacy says that most of What The Bayou Saw is fiction. She did draw from her own life experiences and those of others to write this book. But I have to say that this novel uncovers all the ignorance, fear, and prejudice of race relations not just in the South, but across our country. The story of secrets that is confounded by the racial turmoil of the 1960s and the story of injustice that is defined by the racial atmosphere of today is one that needs to be told. What The Bayou Saw will change the way you look at your own prejudices and beliefs.

Sally Flowers and Ella Ward have a forbidden friendship in the Monroe, Louisiana of the 1960s. They break their parents and society’s rules to continue a friendship that they each need. But a horrible tragedy changes everything and shapes their worlds for decades to come. Lies and secrets taint their relationship and their futures. When Sally has to face what her lies have made her and the tragedy of another young woman, she knows that she cannot continue to ignore the past and must stand up for justice despite the cost.

I found Sally’s character the most compelling. She puts on a good Southern smile and lies. So adept at lying, truth becomes inconvenient and uncomfortable for her. It is interesting that Sally is a Christian, teaches women’s Bible studies and is embroiled in a lawsuit that charges her with including her faith in her classroom, yet she lies and lies, even when she need not. The subject of truth and the very uncomfortable viewpoints of other characters on race are very convicting.  What The Bayou Saw will get you thinking and would be a wonderful selection for a book club.

Highly Recommended.

Great For Book Clubs.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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