SYNOPSIS:When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette, these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.
I started this book not knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with this snapshot in time through the Barataria. The characters were flawed and relateable, all of them coping with hard times and using what they have to make it through. The atmosphere described and the dialogue driven prose, made me feel more like someone was telling me a long story. I enjoyed every word. There's so much said in between words when you talk to your parent or someone you love. Mr. Cooper did a great job describing real, troubled relationships through what was left unsaid.
"Nobody's dreams are interesting, except to themselves."The pacing was great, and I never felt like I was reading filler, This was a well though out and executed novel. There was suspense surrounding what would happen, but not an actual mystery that reaches a conclusion, The plot was a device used to tease out what made these characters push through not so great lives. I wanted the plot to be more developed and some details to be nicely wrapped up, but the characters were the bright-spot throughout.
There is a bit of magical realism described, and I really wanted to learn more about how that worked in the small town. Although maybe the mystery behind it and surrounding it was apart of the story, I found myself immersed in the trawlers life and Linquist's journey to find something to hope for. I did wish there was more female character development and emotional impact, which my rating reflects. I recommend this to anyone who wants to read a unique novel that will enlighten you about the people of Louisiana, after the oil spill painfully rebuilding.
I received this book from BloggingforBooks in exchange for a honest review.