From the first page, I was drawn into the very midst of this story. This book is certainly not a gentle read. It covers topics most books would shy away from and doesn't hesitate to delve into some of the most complicated emotions. Having an idea of what was coming from the back cover, I was in suspense and breathing shallow as each page kept increasing to the climax. And even after it reached the pinnacle moment, the conflict did not ease.
Sally has lived a lie. And from those first moments since meeting Ella and then the bayou, it has snowballed to effect more lives than just her own. Her constant deception can become tiresome, but what kept me reading, more than just a great story, was deep inside you could see she really wanted to change and by sharing her story with a hurting woman, so she wouldn't make the same mistakes, is what makes her extremely likable.
Not only does this book pack a potent message on so many fronts, too many to name in a short review, but also paints word pictures that will give you chills. I literally felt the cold sweep through me by words on a page when Sally found the scarecrow in her garage. Don't underestimate the power of this book!
This book digs deep into the human condition. Nothing is left untouched and the most sacred of emotions have their doors blown away. Haunting, gritty and powerful, this story will invade your thoughts and grab hold of your heart. Don't miss it!
All I can say is wow to this book. Two thumbs up to Patti Lacy for creating this story. Sally is the main character in this book. She has built her life around lies that she has so deceptively created that she can't remember what the truth is. That is until a tragic event at the school where she works as a teacher occurs that brings her right back to the reason she created all these lies in the first place. Her lies finally come full circle when she begins to tell her story and realizes what she needs to do to find closure. This is a tale that includes racism, some history, and fabulous characters. I felt the pain of the characters throughout the book and it made me feel as if I just wanted to be there for them and make the hurt go away. I loved this book. Patti Lacy took me to a place within the pages of this book that created a whole new view of events that occurred in our history. Some things I just never realized, and it takes reading about it maybe in a different way to bring it to the forefront. Definitely a book I would highly recommend.
After reading An Irishwoman's Tale, I knew I had to read Sally's story. She is a fascinating, dynamic character, and her personal journey is a sometimes light, often seious, often harrowing, experience for readers. Sally's relationship with Shamika is wonderful, and the main secondary characters, Ruby and Detective Price, add great shading to it. I also enjoyed the scenes of Sally's childhood, particularly those where Ella appeared. Patti does a wonderful job of drawing these little girls as sisters, but not just "swamp sisters." In fact, Sally and Ella's tackling of the themes and life lessons they must face makes theirs one of the more realistic friendships in Christian fiction. Some scenes of rape and exposure are a bit on the graphic side, so I would not recommend this for anyone but mature readers. However, if you are one of those, you will thoroughly enjoy this novel.
What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy is a poignant story about the damage secrets and lies can wreak as they grow unhindered. Sally Stevens has built a life of secrets and lies she hides behind her smile and Southern drawl. She's learned how to avoid difficult situations by telling a lie that's more easily digested than the truth and seasoning it with wide eyes, smiles, and waving her hands, but it all starts coming to the surface when first she is confronted by three of her students who want her to stop teaching her college class with a Christian tone. Then her favorite student is raped and beaten and accuses those same young men. Her carefully constructed world begins to totter and fall and she is forced to face the secret she has held for over forty years. The lie that destroyed her best friendship, tainted her marriage, and has colored every aspect of her life since. Lacy describes the lies in Sally's life using several metaphors throughout the book; the best is kudzu, at first beautiful but then suffocating and causing death. The beginning of the book setting up the outer frame story is a bit clumsy at first, but Lacy does an awe-inspiring job of talking about the issues of racism that we all want to pretend don't exist anymore. The novel is a gritty, unflinching look at the sins of our nation's past and how they still haunt us today and will continue to do so until we finally face them head-on.
This story is absolutely captivating. I could not put it down once I started reading it. The characters are so real, flawed and human, yet I cared deeply for them by the end. Patti does an incredible job of dealing with some very ugly subjects - racism and rape - in this novel. Yet through it all there is a tender story of redemption.