BACK TO BAYOU SABINE: A NOVELLA,
BY LAUREN FAULKENBERRY
PUBLISHER: VELVET MORNING PRESS;
NOVEMBER 23, 2015
Synopsis: Voodoo, family secrets, and a mysterious stranger…
When Enza Parker’s mother abandoned her and her father fifteen years ago, Enza abruptly stopped spending summers with her grandmother in Louisiana. Her father removed all traces of the two women from Enza’s life.
Now, thirty-one-year-old Enza is drawn back to Bayou Sabine to attend her grandmother’s funeral. In the bayou, memories surge forth, and questions about her past and her family’s intentions flood Enza’s mind. And an encounter with an enigmatic young man offers a hint of what her future may bring—if she doesn’t turn her back on her roots.
“Back to Bayou Sabine” is the prequel to Lauren Faulkenberry’s debut novel, “Bayou My Love,” and this novella definitely gets you excited about the follow-up novel. Enza is a thirty-one-year-old woman living in North Carolina, working for her father flipping houses. Her relationship with her father is strained at best, as he is always second-guessing her and not trusting her to take the lead on projects. Fifteen years earlier, Enza returned from school one day and discovered that her mother had left and her father suggested that Enza forgets that her mother was ever in their lives. Even worse, Enza was no longer allowed to spend her summers in Bayou Sabine with her beloved grandmother Vergie. Back to the present, Enza’s father shows up at their latest house flip one day to inform her that Vergie has died. Despite her father’s protests, Enza and her best friend Kate head south to Bayou Sabine for her grandmother’s funeral. Once there, memories of spending time with her grandmother flood Enza’s mind, as well as, the realization that her mother could be there or anywhere, and she would not even recognize her.
This novella was very short, yet it packed a punch leaving you craving the follow-up novel. Faulkenberry’s writing is beautiful and articulate, weaving a fascinating story that you want to know more about. I loved Enza’s character, especially her idea of wearing her old favorite cowboy boots for dressing up. Enza is a complex character, leading you to believe that she needs and wants change in her life, tired of the arguing and discontent working for her Dad. She reminds me of someone who needs to take off on a remote vacation for weeks and just breathe and figure out what she wants, yet she’s afraid of abandoning her responsibilities with her job. I’m assuming and hoping that the follow-up novel will provide more inside about Enza’s mother and why she left, where she went, and so on. Lauren Faulkenberry is definitely an author to watch, and I hope to see much more of her writing in the near future.
Learn more about Lauren Faulkenberry by visiting her web page.