by Attica Locke
Caren Gray, a law school dropout and single mother, returns to her childhood home, the Belle Vie plantation in Louisiana’s cane country, after being displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
She’s grateful for the job, even if it does keep her walking a tightrope between the Clancys and the plantation employees she manages. She can even accept the irony of the romanticized history of plantation life and slavery before and after the Civil War presented to tourists at Belle Vie, given her own family’s history as slaves there.
The Clancys definitely want the murder wrapped up and forgotten: attorney Raymond Clancy has big plans both for his own future and that of Belle Vie. Controversy won’t do well for either. A newspaper reporter nosing around tells Caren about Abrams’ history. The father of Caren’s daughter, Morgan, wants Morgan to get well away from the plantation and join him and his fiancé in Washington, D.C.
|Author Attica Locke|
Author Attica Locke’s juxtaposition of historic slavery on the plantation against the migrant and often undocumented workers in the surrounding cane fields is fascinating. Her prose never gets preachy and her message never gets in the way of the story or her complex, likeable characters.