Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What the Bayou Saw

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

What The Bayou Saw

Kregel Publications (March 24, 2009)


Patti Lacy


Though Patti's only been writing since 2005, she thinks her latest profession of capturing stories on paper (or computer files) will stick awhile.

The Still, Small Voice encouraged Patti to write after a brave Irish friend shared memories of betrayal and her decision to forgive. In 2008, An Irishwoman’s Tale was published by Kregel Publications. Patti’s second novel, What the Bayou Saw, draws on the memories of two young girls who refused to let segregation, a chain link fence, and a brutal rape come between them.

The secrets women keep and why they keep them continue to enliven Patti's gray matter. A third book, My Name is Sheba, has been completed. Patti's WIP, Recapturing Lily, documents a tug-of-war between a Harvard-educated doctor and an American pastor and his wife for a precious child and explores adoption issues, China's "One Child" policy, and both Christian and secular views of sacrifice.

Patti also facilitates writing seminars in schools, libraries, and at conferences and has been called to present her testimony, "All the Broken Pieces," at women's retreats. She also leads a Beth Moore Bible study at her beloved Grace Church.

Patti and her husband Alan, an Illinois State faculty member, live in Normal with their handsome son Thomas, who attends Heartland Community College. On sunny evenings, you can catch the three strolling the streets of Normal with their dog Laura, whom they've dubbed a "Worchestershire Terrier" for her "little dab of this breed, a little dab of that breed.


Segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year-old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal assault bound them together. Forever. Thirty-eight years later, Sally, a middle-aged Midwestern instructor, dredges up childhood secrets long buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student, who has also been raped. Fragments of spirituals, gospel songs, and images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans are woven into the story.

The past can't stay buried forever Rising author Patti Lacy's second novel exposes the life of Sally, set amid the shadows of prejudice in Louisiana.

Since leaving her home in the South, Sally Stevens has held the secrets of her past at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband, has heard the truth about her childhood.

But when one of her students is violently raped, Sally's memories quickly bubble to the surface unbidden, like a dead body in a bayou. As Sally's story comes to light, the lies she's told begin to catch up with her. And as her web of deceit unravels, she resolves to face the truth at last, whatever the consequences.

If you would like to read the first chapter of What The Bayou Saw, go HERE

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.

Don't forget to send me an email to sign up for the chance to win a copy of Tracey Bateman's Thirsty! It's a must read for all Twilight fans.


Patti Lacy said...

Thanks, Christy, for allowing a little bayou sludge to seep into your blog!