Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pages: 368
Year Published:

Declan Fitzgerald gave up his life in Boston as a successful lawyer to purchase and restore an old plantation house down in swampy Lousiana. As he starts restoring the grand house to its original splendor, strange things begin occurring. Declan begins hearing the loud cries of a baby coming from his attic, and even begins having flashbacks to scenes from the house's rich past. To complicate matters, Declan has fallen in love at first sight with a local bar owner named Lena Simone, and it seems that she is also connected to what is happening in the house.

Short Thought:
A fun, quick read, but not as good as the other Nora Roberts books that I have read.

Expanded Thoughts:
So, I decided to read this after watching the Lifetime movie based on the book. The lifetime movie was pretty good. (Movie Information and I've embeded the trailer below the review) But I didn't enjoy the novel as much as the movie. (And I don't think it was just the fact that the movie had Jerry O'Connell in it.)

Let's get to it:

There are two absolute gems in this story--the beautiful setting and Lena's Cajun grandmother. The setting was portrayed richly, vibrantly, and really enhanced the story. Some of the old traditions of the region were discussed, mainly through Lena's grandmother, and the 'natives' spoke in wonderful colloquialisms. (The southerner in me rejoices). Even more than that, we are shown a sense of progression and made to really understand the rich roots of New Orleans through the flashbacks with Abby. It lends itself to this beautifully complex theme/argument whether of not people have changed in the last 100 years.

So why the low rating?

I felt that the main characters were flat compared to those in other Nora Roberts books I have read. Declan is a pig-headed, rich guy, who is very giving, and won't take no for an answer. Lena is the working class southern girl that fought to escape her crappy past and turned into a successful uber-independent woman who doesn't need anyone else. The romantic story between them was okay but was pretty lack-luster. I actually enjoyed the story between Abigail and Lucian better. It seemed more complex. To sum up, there was no real moment of tension throughout the book. It pretty much stayed at the same level throughout. Basically, It just wasn't not my taste.

I used to be one of those 'snobbies' that turned my nose up at these types of books, but now I can't wait to jump into the next Nora Roberts novel. No one should deny themselves a whole category of books, because, I tell you, I am sad that I have missed out on these for as long as I did.

Additional Thoughts:
This novel has dark themes, mild violence, and sexual situations.

Midnight Bayou Movie Trailer

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