Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jerjen
Snow On The Bayou by Sandra Hill is a great book about love, forgiveness, family ties and second chances. It is the story of Emelie and Justin, two people who lived in New Orleans, who share a past. Can they also share a future?
Justin left New Orleans to enlist in the Navy and eventually became a Navy seal. He was run out of town by the sheriff, who accused him of statutory rape. The supposed rape was against the sheriff’s daughter. In reality, Justin and the sheriff’s daughter, Emelie, were in love and planning a life together. But Justin was the bad boy of the area. His father died in prison and his mother died of a drug overdose. He went to live with his grandparents, who gave him the best life they could. Although his was in love with Emelie, he left her without a goodbye, thanks to her father.
Justin is now back in New Orleans to take care of his dying grandmother. He does not want to revisit his past but it seems as though he has no choice. His grandmother is family and there is nothing more important than family. When he sees Emelie again, he feels as though no time has passed and finds himself still in love with her. He does not know what the future will hold, but he knows he wants Emelie in that future.
Emelie is making a good life for herself making Mardi Gras masks and singing the Blues in a local nightclub. Her life is full with her jobs and her friends. She is slowly rebuilding her relationship with her father, but that is not easy. She knows that her father played a major role in her losing Justin, the love of her life. She has no idea how big a role her father played. All she does know is that when she sees Justin again, the past melts away and she remembers all too well her feelings for him. But how can there be any type of future for them? She needs to stay in New Orleans for her business and Justin has to leave to return to the Navy Seals. There is no way they can make the relationship work, or can they?
The characters are well-developed, well-rounded and three-dimensional. In my opinion, the characters are what makes this book stand apart from others. The two main characters, Emelie and Justin, are portrayed very realistically and are people you can easily care about and want to cheer for. The other characters are very important to the story’s development and are people you fall in love with. Justin’s grandmother is a perfect example of how a grandmother should be and is instrumental in helping Justin forgive his father and come to terms with his past. Tante Lulu, an honorary “aunt” is a real quirky character and is on a mission to unite Justin and Emelie, with St. Jude’s help. Her antics and conversations are hysterical and adds a lot of welcome humor to the story. I imagine that there really are people who act like her and says outrageous things like her and she gave the book an even more realistic feel.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The writing style is also very descriptive and at times I felt like I was in New Orleans, visiting. I learned some things about Mardi Gras traditions and customs and I enjoyed that. I have never been to New Orleans and experienced Mardi Gras for myself, but this book gave me some insight into the happenings and preparations for the celebration. I also learned some details about the Navy Seals that I did not know, which is a plus.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written romance with humor and a little mystery thrown in. Snow On The Bayou has a little bit of everything in it. Including some steamy scenes, which is why I would not recommend it for a young adult. I have not read any other books by Sandra Hill but I plan on doing so soon. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Snow On The Bayou and enjoy, you will not be disappointed.