Where do you go when you disappear? For young heiress Mary Fait, the answer is New Orleans. After the death of her parents, she is placed in the care of her alcoholic uncle. For years, she assists her uncle in growing the family empire, all the while plotting his demise and / or her escape. A college scholarship gives her the opportunity to break free of her life to start a new one – under a new name. Follow Mary and her often hilarious misadventures in the early 1990’s while attending college in a small town in Louisiana. The story reads as a series of diary entries which chronicle the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the main character during this time in her life. The novel’s title refers to a cajun restaurant in which the main character works as a waitress. The colorful descriptions of the town of Bayou Bend, the college, its inhabitants and the surrounding areas paint a vivid and amusing tale of life in the South.
Three Reasons to Stay Away From Gumbeaux
1. The Romance First, there’s Braden. Braden brings “adventure” to Veronica’s oh so bland life, including being way too obsessed with sex. He brings out the worst in Veronica, making her even more snobby towards all her friends. But alas, the relationship continues. Then there’s Dr Landry, her art professor at the college she goes to. They don’t date while he’s her teacher, but he does promise he’ll wait for her. And he does, even though she dates Braden for most of her time in college. Cool romance guys. Obviously true love…
2. The Writing This book jumps all over the place, making it so confusing! It’s written in diary form, which I guess is unreliable in real life. Artistic licence gives you the right to assume she writes in it every day though. Not Veronica. Oh no, she might forget to write for months at a time, and never bothers to explain what we missed out on. Plus, there’s none of that “show not tell” that we all need. It’s written very “I saw my uncle. I was shocked.” Sometimes, that works for effect. But when the entire book is written like that, it loses the excitement. Sometimes, really good writing can save a shoddy plot. In this case though, the plot and the writing went hand in hand… I discovered that this quote is not exactly true!
3. The Morals Oh wait, what morals? I thought I knew what this book was going to be about; a girl trying to escape her haunting past to find happiness. But it didn’t go anywhere! There were a few scenes with her uncle that showed how much Veronica had grown. By the end though, she ended up basically exactly where she started, with an awful romance, and no foreseeable future. She didn’t find anything – she stayed exactly the same, as the spoiled brat she really is. When people suffer, I like to see them learn from their role models mistakes. Not this one, though. She made mistake after mistake, and DIDN’T GROW AT THE END OF IT. There was genuinely no purpose to the book, unless you like seeing what life in New Orleans is like
Hopefully this convinced you not to read this book! If you have read it, did you suffer too? And what do you guys think of my new review format?