I picked up the book, Bayou Magic, because of the author. I loved Jewell Parker Rhodes’s book, Ninth Ward. I actually utilize that book as a small group novel in my class when we focus our reading on modern-day historical fiction novels. When I saw that Park Rhodes had a new book focused around the Louisiana Bayou, I knew I had to read it. I honestly didn’t even notice the mermaid tail on the front cover when I sat down to read this book. If I would have, I clearly would have picked up this book earlier. I mean, everyone loves books about mermaids and the spirits of the bayou.
The main character in this book is Madison Isabelle Lavalier Johnson, but she goes by Maddy for short. You will love Maddy instantly. She is the youngest of her four sisters, yet she seems to have the sincerest heart. At ten years old, her spirit is gentle but within her is a strength that she has yet to even discover. Under the direction of her mystical Grandmere, combined with the secrets of the Bayou, Maddy slowly uncovers during the truth behind her summer at Bon Temps.
Beyond the magic of the mermaids, the mystique of Grandmere, and the sparkle of something deeper starting in Maddy, I think the real magic behind this story is the setting of Bon Temps. You meet and fall in love with a diverse set of characters. You have been painted a real picture of life on the Bayou. It is through the storytelling of Parker Rhodes that you fall in love with the power and strength of these characters as they struggle to survive. And more importantly, as they struggle to save their beloved Bayous.