Under the Bayou Moon ~ Review

Under the Bayou Moon
Valerie Fraser Luesse

Ellie Fields is determined to serve wherever she is most needed and use the gifts God has given her to make the world a better place, especially for children. So when she is offered a teaching position in Bernadette, Louisiana, she takes the opportunity to leave the familiar life behind. 

But the life of a school teacher in a Cajun community in 1949 Louisana isn't easy. French-speaking has been forbidden, in fact, it is to be driven out of the children by any means necessary. Fortunately, for the people who call Bernadette home, Ellie Fields isn't of a like mind, though she knows learning English is necessary for their futures.

But Ellie's greatest understanding comes when she meets Raphe Broussard, a Cajun fisherman who has called the Bayou home all his life. A life that at times is as harsh as the Bayou is beautiful. Raphe's concern for the young nephew he is raising brings him to Ellie's classroom where his concerns are soon laid to rest.

But soon the Bayou and Bernadette are facing an enemy they didn't know existed - one that if not stopped that could destroy everything that they hold dear.

Valerie Fraser Luesse's newest work is a standalone title and is excellent reading.. Her realistic descriptions of the beauties of the Bayou make me miss the similar landscape that I called home when I lived in Florida. The moss draping from the trees and swaying to the breezes off the water. The quiet of nature is so alive during the night. But the prejudices against the Cajun people at this time in history is just something one doesn't hear about in the history books. Truly the land of freedom when speaking a language is not only forbidden but punished! 

Under the Bayou Moon, like the other works by Valerie Fraser Luesse that I have had the pleasure to read are books that entertain while sharing glimpses into the past. Her characters are more than words upon a page they have a life that speaks to you, one is drawn into the story, roots for the characters to triumph over the evil that is confronting them.  

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Restless with the familiarity of her Alabama home, Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country. Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their culture, most of the people in tiny Bernadette, Louisiana, come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher as a boon to the town. She's soon teaching just about everyone--and coming up against opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives.

Acclimating to a whole new world, Ellie meets a lonely but intriguing Cajun fisherman named Raphe who introduces her to the legendary white alligator that haunts these waters. Raphe and Ellie have barely found their way to each other when a huge bounty is offered for the elusive gator, bringing about a shocking turn of events that will test their love and their will to right a terrible wrong.

A master of the Southern novel, Valerie Fraser Luesse invites you to enter the sultry swamps of Louisiana in a story that illuminates the struggle for the heart and soul of the bayou.

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~ Blooming with Books