Little Gale Gumbo by Erika Marks – Book Review

Little Gale Gumbo by Erika Marks
Published by NAL Trade, an imprint of Penguin

In 1977, Camille Bergeron fled New Orleans and her abusive husband with her daughters Dahlia and Josie. A Creole woman willing to work a little voodoo didn’t exactly go over well on Little Gale Island in Maine, but the Bergeron women made it work for themselves, made at least some of the inhabitants of the town love them – enough to bring them into the fold a bit, as well as to get them into trouble. Now, in 2002, their pasts have caught up to them and suddenly their father is dead and the man they always thought of as their father is in a fight for his life.

Dahlia and Josie are rich, complex characters who lead very interesting lives as fish out of water in Maine. They are mostly accepted by townspeople, but truly welcomed by very few, even after having lived on Little Gale Island for 25 years. Marks draws them realistically, especially considering that their present selves are only the stars of half of the book, since the other half deals with the time from when Camille met her husband up through the girls’ lives in Maine. In addition to having wonderful characters, the plot of Little Gale Gumbo pulls the reader right along, trying to figure out what really happened between the two men, as well as what might still happen for the sisters and their love interests.

A quick and satisfying read. Recommended.

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