Saturday, September 24, 2011

Little Gale Gumbo-Ericka Marks

Little Gale Gumbo

Ericka Marks

NAL, Oct 4 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780451234650

In 1977 Camille Bergeron accompanied by her two daughters Dahlia and Josie left New Orleans to escape her abusive husband Charles as she fears he will harm their children. She opens up the Little Gale Gumbo Café on Little Gale Island, Maine. On the barrier island, she rents a room from Ben Haskell. He is instantly attracted to the best praline maker in New England while his teenage son Matthew is gaga for Camille’s daughters. While most of the islanders do not welcome the three Creole females, they cannot resist her food. The three Bergeron females and the two Haskell males become a close knit family.

By 2002 Camille and Ben live together in love and harmony. Josie eagerly learned her mom’s recipes and remains attracted to Matthew who desires Dahlia; while Dahlia has become a loose woman sleeping around and hurting her high school boyfriend Jack Thurlow. Charles the drug dealer visited his girls periodically since his females deserted him. When he returns to Little Gale, Charles assaults Ben; Charles dies while lying next to him Ben is in a coma. The three next generation come back home to be there for the patriarch; while secrets concealed for years surface tearing apart an extended family.

Little Gale Gumbo is an entertaining family drama starring a strong cast as the key sextet are fully developed and the islanders add local color to an intriguing suspense. The story line is well written, but does slow down with vivid descriptions of the island and the café’s food. With a deft late twist, fans will enjoy stopping at the Little Gale Gumbo for good food and to learn the secrets.

Harriet Klausner

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