I enjoyed Gautreaux's "The Clearing" so much I thought I would give this one a read, and I am so glad I did. This is a Louisiana story about 2 people easy to become attached to because of the way Mr. Gautreaux uses his real life southern Louisiana writing to grab the reader and not release you until you have read the last word on the very last page, and then wish there was more. You will follow them from their southern habitat to California and back to a hard scrabble existence in their beloved bayou country. It has a love story that is binds humor, adventure, adversity, and adventure into a great read. Try it you will like it as I did.
Gautreaux's powerful, character-driven debut novel breathes new life into the theme of mismatched lovers. Paul and Colette Thibodeaux have nothing in common: he's a machinist with apparently no ambition other than jitterbugging and bar fighting; she is a bank teller who longs for the good life in Southern California. After they separate, she escapes from their small Louisiana bayou town to the land of her dreams. Paul follows her to L.A., where his skill in maintaining and repairing antiquated machinery lands him the highest paying job of his life. However, California turns sour for both Colette and Paul, who eventually return, separately, to their hometown of Tiger Island. In the short time they have been away, the oil industry has flattened out, and many of the town's businesses are as bust as their marriage. The novel's triumph is its sense of community--unforgettable characters in a setting that is at once familiar and exotic--and how that sense can overcome the hazards of life.