You know when you read a book that wraps you up in a deep full warm hug? That’s what Beyond the Bayou Moon did for me. I finished it in one sitting, that is, about six hours. Let’s dive right in.
The characters had my heart from the beginning. Raphe and Remy were both dear boys that were quickly adopted by my brain and I was instantly hoping they had a large part of the story. They did.
Raphe was such a special guy. His soft, calm, contained demeanor was such a nice break from all the cliche big burley strong headed dudes that usually come with the suspense or law enforcement novels. XD His story was sad, but he wasn’t hardened by it, and really all in all, he was one of my favorite book boyfriends…
It felt a little forced to me when he hesitated to pursue Ellie because of his “fear” over providing her a life that she deserved. I almost felt like the author had used that as an excuse to bring the progress in their relationship to slow down so she could catch up in the other plot lines. (That’s all speculations. It wasn’t big enough to bother me but I figured this is my review so might as well mention it.)
Ellie was really good. My feelings toward her as a character were a bit mixed because I dont usually like/relate to characters that “rebel” against the job of a home keeper for ladies. However I could understand where Ellie was coming from and appreciated her none the less. Her resilience and strength in teaching the children and doing it right and her respect for their Cajun background made me really very happy. (I’m going to be a teacher too so that was pretty fun)
Heywood was my child from the first moment I laid eyes on him. I don’t know why but I knew instantly I would like him. He reminded me of exactly the sort of characters that always make my favorites. Quirky, and weird, and a little more wild than acceptable but with a hearts of gold. That was Heywood.
The plot was well done. The pacing of the progress felt a little misplaced and sometimes too fast or too slow, but the plot line itself was very good. I enjoyed learning about Raphe’s little community on the bayou and their little get togethers and their unity and the way they cared for each other. To avoid spoilers, I guess I’ll say this book was just so relaxing and slow and beautiful. The descriptions we’re vivid and stunning and the era felt as real as ever possible. There were a couple of phrases I felt may have been much too modern, but not enough to actually dock stars for.
This book was so incredibly CLEAN. I loved reading it because I was at ease the entire time. There were a few sweet kisses, nothing too detailed or concerning. There was no bad language written out, but Heywood does cut himself off and rephrase what he was saying a few times, leaving the reader knowing what he was going to say, but even those were very mild. (They made me laugh more than anything else).
There were several potentially graphic/disturbing descriptions as Raphe had flashbacks to helping clean after a hurricane and finding dead bodies in the water. There was also a few murders, none too detailed, and one man was killed by an alligator but that was not on screen.
All in all, I would almost give this one five stars. The ending was so bittersweet. I loved all the French and the goodness of the people. I’m so glad I got a copy of this book. It’s good for ages 13 and up!
Thank you to Revell and the author for the free copy of Under the Bayou Moon. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own! I’lll be keeping an eye out for this author in the future.
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