Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark

From the author's website:  Swept away from Louisiana bayou country as a child, Miranda Miller is a woman without a past. She has a husband and child of her own and a fulfilling job in a Manhattan museum, but she also has questions—about the tragedy that cut her off from family and caused her to be sent away, and about those first five years that were erased from her memory entirely.

Summoned to the bedside of Willy Pedreaux, the old caretaker of her grandparents' antebellum estate, Miranda goes back for the first time, hoping to learn the truths of her past and receive her rightful inheritance. But Willy's premature death plunges Miranda into a nightmare of buried secrets, priceless treasure, and unknown enemies.

Follow one woman's search through the hidden rooms of a bayou mansion, the enigmatic snares of an ancient myth, and the all-consuming quest for a heart open enough for love—and for God. 

From Heather:  I just finished Whispers of the Bayou for book club this last week.  I generally like mysteries and this one had me guessing the entire time.  The ending took me completely by surprise, which is sometimes hard to do!  It's not that the ending doesn't make sense, because it absolutely does.  I just never saw it coming!

I checked out Mindy Starns Clark's website and realized that she has a bunch of books that I would probably LOVE to read, although I've not read any but the Whispers of the Bayou.  She has two in the Women of Lancaster County series, The Amish Nanny and The Amish Midwife that I would probably enjoy.  She has a Million Dollar Mysteries series that looks fabulous!  She has a Smart Chick Mystery series that looks adorable (mysteries AND household hints...ahhh!)  She's written three other stand-alone fiction books (Under the Cajun Moon, Secrets of Harmony Grove and Shadows of Lancaster County.)  She also has two non-fiction books, A Pocket Guide to Amish Life and The House That Cleans Itself.  (I've gotta get that last one!  Maybe not the book, but the actual house...!  Wouldn't that be awesome!)

Whispers of the Bayou was a wonderful read.  I was a little confused by the Cajun culture, but it could just be that I'm not very good at reading descriptions of things.  I tend to rush over them in my haste to get to the "story" and end up missing out on a lot of details!  I was also a little put off by the Christian aspect at the end of the book.  I realize that it is Christian Fiction, but sometimes that comes across as a little preachy to me.  I like my religion gently scattered throughout the book and not dumped on me all at once at the end of the book.  I know, an odd thing to worry about, but it did kind of detract from the ending for me.  All in all, I loved this book!


Misty Moncur said...

Laura did a review about a book that dumped Christianity at the end of the book. I read it, and she was right, it totally detracted from the story. Nothing against Christian fiction. Love it. But if you get to the end and you're like, "Wait, what?" then it is badly done.
Still looks like a great book from a new author! Yay! (that's all I need, hhehe)

MamaHintze said...

I agree about the ending. I prefer Lynn Austin's style, she weaves the Christianity throughout the story and it's never in your face.
I thought this story started very slowly. I had to keep forcing myself to pick up the book. Finally, about the last third of the book the story line really picked up. I don't know if I'll read her again or not.

Jillian said...

I can't stand it when there's a preach dump no matter where it falls in the book! And I totally skim over long detailed bits in books to get to the "good stuff" too! Maybe I should slow down... but if I did that I won't be able to get to ALL THOSE books out there! Thanks for the review. :)