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Monday, June 21, 2010

Nora Roberts: Midnight Bayou


Love and betrayal, fear and pain, life and death; the bayou around New Orleans holds it all.  At the turn of the 20th century, a poor swamp beauty and a rich high class businessman fall in love, elope, have a baby and suffer the disapproval, and outright hate, from both their families.  A hundred years later the cycle is set to repeat when Declan Fitzgerald buys Manet Hall, sets himself to restoring the rundown mansion, and meets Angelina Simone – the great, great-granddaughter of the baby born to that swamp beauty and businessman.
Manet Hall is haunted.  The entire estate is dead and waiting, and it seems that it’s been waiting for Declan.  He felt an instant connection to the house, and to the woman, and knows that they are his.  From his first day in Manet Hall Declan has paranormal experiences with the ghosts that linger in the big place, but they connect with him in a way that both terrifies and angers him.  And when he discovers that Lena is affected in much the same way it’s just one more link in the chain that connects them to each other… at least in his mind.
Lena has also always been drawn to the Hall but then she’s always known the history and the tragedy of it.  When she meets Declan she’s somewhat surprised to see that he’s not quite what she expected and when she first goes into the Hall, she’s surprised by the way it makes her feel.  She can’t figure out how to handle Declan and for the first time in her life, she can’t figure out how to keep herself from falling for him and him for her. 
Together, Declan and Lena work through the weirdness of the houses’ affect on them, and through the awkwardness caused by the intensity of their love for one another.  In the end they won’t only have a home to live in; they’ll have a future to look forward to, too.
Midnight Bayou posterOne of the things that I love most about Nora’s writing, especially in her single title novels like this one, is the little mysterious twists that she adds to keep each and every one of her stories fresh and interesting.  Midnight Bayou was an impulse buy when I saw it at the grocery store one day.  I’d probably seen it a dozen times at the bookstore and had passed it by.  After reading it, then re-reading, re-reading and falling in love with it, I’m immensely happy that I gave in to impulse and finally picked it up.  Nora always manages to make her stories something that I can pick up over and over and this one, Midnight Bayou is no exception.  I promise that if the impulse takes you, you will not be disappointed!
Midnight Bayou, 2001

You can also see the Lifetime Movie, based on the book by Nora Roberts! It is available from iTunes for US users. And you might find them at your video store.
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