Under the Bayou Moon – Valerie Fraser Luesse

Under the Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse
Also by this author: The Key to Everything, Almost Home
Published by Revell on August 3, 2021
Genres: Historical, Fiction, Christian
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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.

As I sat and mused over Under the Bayou Moon, still holding it in my hand, my daughter asked me, “Are you crying?” No, I said, just thinking….and this is definitely one of those books that leaves you with lots of thoughts to process.

First, I have to say, I absolutely loved this book. Valerie Fraser Luesse has a rare talent with words. Her gift is bringing faraway times and places, sights, tastes, and smells, to life, right there in front of you. This story brings to life all the wonder and beauty of the lush Louisana bayou. This story left me oh so hungry–hungry for that delicious Cajun food, hungry for the beautiful sights of that southern land.

I just loved Ellie. Such a strong, yet sweet heroine. Determined, real, a gal that I’d want to have as a friend. I loved her story. Seeing the bayou through her eyes. Getting to know that beautiful land, the charming culture, and so much more. This is a story of finding one’s self. Of love, family, friendship, and belonging.

Mixed in with the Cajun culture, there is also a hint of mystery, of politics, and of darkness. Ms. Luesse has done such a fabulous job of weaving hope into this story line. I was sad when I realized I’d read the final pages. This is a story that I will definitely be reading again, characters that I will have a hard time leaving in the book, because they will stay with me for a very long time.