Under the Bayou Moon

A Novel

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"Come spend a few hours in Bernadette, Louisiana. You might find you don't want to leave! I know I didn't."--Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Danger Never Sleeps series

When Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country in 1949, she knows her life will change--but she could never imagine just how dramatically.

Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their unique culture, most of the residents come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher, and she's soon teaching just about everyone, despite opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives. Yet it's the lessons Ellie herself will learn--from new friends, a captivating Cajun fisherman, and even a legendary white alligator haunting the bayou--that will make all the difference.

Take a step away from the familiar and enter the shadowy waters of bayou country for a story of risk, resilience, and romance.


"Reading Under the Bayou Moon felt like an invitation to sit with Valerie in her story shack so she could spin a yarn that made me fall in love with a place I've never been and care deeply for characters I've never met. This is a book to be savored."--Susie Finkbeiner, author of The Nature of Small Birds and Stories That Bind Us

"With atmosphere dripping from every page like Spanish moss on a cypress tree, Valerie Fraser Luesse brings the Louisiana bayou to vivid life in this story of one woman stepping out in faith to pursue her purpose. This memorable tale of love--love for self, love for others, and love for the land--will expand in your heart just as the ripples from a boat's passage touch every secret corner of the bayou."--Erin Bartels, award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things


Endorsements

"I can't say enough good things about this story! I was transported to the 1949 Louisiana bayou, where I fell in love with the characters and setting. Teacher Ellie Fields seeks to find herself while helping the people she's quickly coming to care about--especially one special little boy and his handsome uncle. Valerie spins a tale full of depth, detail, and humor, in which you can smell the bayou, feel the juice from the po'boy drip down your chin, and so much more. Come spend a few hours in Bernadette, Louisiana. You might find you don't want to leave! I know I didn't."

Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Danger Never Sleeps series

"There's just something about a novel by Valerie Fraser Luesse that feels like coming home. Reading Under the Bayou Moon felt like an invitation to sit with Valerie in her story shack so she could spin a yarn that made me fall in love with a place I've never been and care deeply for characters I've never met. This is the magic of good fiction, isn't it? And Valerie performs her enchantments with a lyrical Southern style that took my breath away. This is a book to be savored."

Susie Finkbeiner, author of The Nature of Small Birds and Stories That Bind Us

"With atmosphere dripping from every page like Spanish moss on a cypress tree, Valerie Fraser Luesse brings the Louisiana bayou to vivid life in this story of one woman stepping out in faith to pursue her purpose. This memorable tale of love--love for self, love for others, and love for the land--will expand in your heart just as the ripples from a boat's passage touch every secret corner of the bayou."

Erin Bartels, award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things

"Steeped in the rich culture of the Louisiana bayou, Valerie Fraser Luesse's tale takes us to a place where love and community matter and an almost magical alligator enchants!"

Nancy Dorman-Hickson, coauthor of the award-winning Diplomacy and Diamonds and a former editor for Progressive Farmer and Southern Living magazines

"This compelling novel has a bit of everything--self-exploration, a sense of adventure, and fascinating characters. Valerie Fraser Luesse brings the beauty and mystery of the bayou to life as Ellie finds her home in more ways than one."

Krissy Tiglias, executive editor of Southern Living magazine


The Author

  1. Valerie Fraser Luesse
    Mark Sandlin

    Valerie Fraser Luesse

    Valerie Fraser Luesse is the bestselling author of Missing Isaac, Almost Home, and The Key to Everything, as well as an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is...

    Continue reading about Valerie Fraser Luesse

Reviews

"Luesse's multifaceted, lyrical tale dazzles with larger-than-life villains searching for a big payday, a mythical albino alligator, a mysterious 'esprit Blanc' that allegedly roams the swamps, and a lovable cast. . . Readers who enjoy Southern romances will love this."

Publishers Weekly starred review

"Luesse transports readers to the lush and hauntingly beautiful Louisiana bayou in 1949 . . . Readers who enjoy Lynn Austin's faith-filled historical romances will be pleased to discover Luesse."

Booklist starred review


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