Tag Archives: Patti Lacy

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.)

To purchase a copy of this book, click on the image below.

Book Review: Reclaiming Lily

11 Jan

A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.

Gloria’s relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman’s apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer–or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?

Excerpt

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:

Wow, what a wonderful story!  Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy is sure to be on my best of the best list for 2012!  Lacy’s latest novel is a complex study in western and eastern cultures, teenager turmoil and the life and death struggle of a serious disease. Sounds like a lot is going on, right?  There is, but Lacy deftly weaves all the elements into an unputdownable read.

Joy Powell is a very troubled teenager.  Brought to the United States from China by her adoptive parents, Joy has struggled with her identity and the prejudice of others almost from the start.  Her parents, Gloria and Andrew are clueless as to how to help her.  Enter a previously unknown sister, Kai, who brings some potentially devastating news about Joy’s Chinese family’s health history.  Kai long ago vowed to reclaim Joy/Lily for the Chang family and has worked hard to get to the point to do it.

Reclaiming Lily was difficult at first to read.  There are major differences between western and eastern cultures that Lacy presents.  It was hard to connect with Kai and her very Chinese way of looking at things.  Then there is the character of Gloria — an overprotective mother determined to do the right thing, but failing miserably.  And Joy/Lily is the teenager every parent fears.  But as the story unfolded, the characters became so real and believable.  And the story of reclamation, new starts and new life is beautifully profound.

Reclaiming Lily is simply a wonderful story.  You need to read it!

Highly Recommended.

(I received Reclaiming Lily from Bethany House Publishers in return for a review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)