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What the Bayou Saw: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Patti Lacy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The past can't stay buried forever
Rising author Patti Lacy's second novel exposes the life of Sally, set amid the shadows of prejudice in Louisiana. Since leaving her home in the South, Sally Stevens has held the secrets of her past at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband, has heard the truth about her childhood. But when one of her students is violently raped, Sally's memories quickly bubble to the surface unbidden, like a dead body in a bayou. As Sally's story comes to light, the lies she's told begin to catch up with her. And as her web of deceit unravels, she resolves to face the truth at last, whatever the consequences.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Past Can't Stay Buried Forever

Since leaving Louisiana, Sally Stevens has held her childhood secrets at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband Sam, has heard the truth about what happened when she was almost twelve years old.

Now a teacher in Illinois, Sally has nearly forgotten the past. But when one of her students is violently attacked, Sally's memories of segregation, a chain link fence, and a blood oath bubble to the surface like a dead body in a bayou. Lies continue to tumble from Sally's lips as she scrambles to gloss over harsh reality. Finally cornered by her deceit and nudged by the Holy Spirit, she resolves to face the truth, whatever the consequences.

"Like Southern molasses, What the Bayou Saw is a rich, thick read that explores a tale so haunting…so painfully real, it will follow you into your dreams. There is a blazing light on the horizon of women's fiction, and her name is Patti Lacy."--Julie Lessman, author of A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed

"[A] deftly knit together story of two girls, four decades and one growing nation in a tale as relevant as ever. A winning combination that makes for simply great storytelling."--Tosca Lee, Christy-nominated author of Havah: The Story of Eve

About the Author

Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2770 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002BWPRO4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,679 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book you definitely have to read November 28, 2009
All I can say is wow to this book. Two thumbs up to Patti Lacy for creating this story. Sally is the main character in this book. She has built her life around lies that she has so deceptively created that she can't remember what the truth is. That is until a tragic event at the school where she works as a teacher occurs that brings her right back to the reason she created all these lies in the first place. Her lies finally come full circle when she begins to tell her story and realizes what she needs to do to find closure. This is a tale that includes racism, some history, and fabulous characters. I felt the pain of the characters throughout the book and it made me feel as if I just wanted to be there for them and make the hurt go away. I loved this book. Patti Lacy took me to a place within the pages of this book that created a whole new view of events that occurred in our history. Some things I just never realized, and it takes reading about it maybe in a different way to bring it to the forefront. Definitely a book I would highly recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making it Right June 17, 2009
Never before have I read a book on two controversial subjects that made me mad, sad, and depressed, while truly enjoying every page. What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy is a poignant story where the same crime happens to two different women. Can the secrets of two little girls, growing up during the times of segregation, really affect their adult lives? Exactly what is the bayou hiding and will anyone ever really know?

Sally Stevens, being a nurturing person, puts everything on the line to help one of her students over a tragedy. Sally has not been completely honest with the people around her, and now more than ever she will have to come clean in order to be there for Shamika Williams. Shamika, like Sally, has to choose how they will handle the bad cards that were dealt to them. For Sally, it has been quite a few years. But Shamika has the choice to either take the same path as Sally did years ago, or learn from her in making better choices. Will Sally be able to connect those things and people from her past? Will she succeed in making things right? And will Shamika learn from Sally?

The emotions of the characters were raw and I could feel them as I read. The characters and the plot were well-developed. The research that had to be done was extensive because certain details were so unrealistically real, and it could not come from Ms. Lacy's imagination alone. What the Bayou Saw is not a fast-paced book, but it is a page turner. I recommend this book to everyone interested in reading something out of the ordinary.

Jennifer Coissiere
APOOO BookClub
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Bayou Saw August 5, 2009
This book covered so many "touchy" subjects. Trying to conceal things of the past, innocent friendship, racial issues, young girls having to deal with the issues of rape at such a tender age, and murder just to name a few. Once I got into the bulk of the story, and became familar with each of the characters in the story, I was hooked all the way to the very end. I truly loved the way the author captured the friendship of these two young girls of different races, in the midst of the prejudice that was surrounding them. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book to read. The only disappointment is having the story come to and end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AAMBC Book Reviews November 15, 2009
Patti Lacy has penned an unforgettable literary masterpiece in What the Bayou Saw. Laced with lyrics from African American spirituals, this tale eloquently illustrates the lives of three unlikely women. The story takes the reader on a ride down highway 55 north, from Louisiana to Illinois, to embark on a journey crowded with bigotry, hatred, and prejudice.
Sally Stevens is a Christian woman who is struggling daily to deal with the demons of her past. Through the years, Sally had done a good job of hiding her pain until one of her students, Shamika Williams, is attacked. Shamika is the only African American student in Sally's American Music class. Afro-centric and regal in her appearance, it was well known that Shamika was poised to take on the world and this didn't set right with several of her peers.
Because of who she is, Sally felt compelled to lend her support in any way that she could. Upon learning the details of what happened, Sally was forced to remember an event from years ago that forever changed her life. The only person who knew was Ella and Sally had sworn her to secrecy with a blood oath. Sally and Ella became childhood friends during a time when prejudice flowed as freely as running water.
It was amazing how well Sally had buried the pain and memories as the years elapsed. She found herself bearing it all when she went to visit Shamika at her aunt Ruby's house. Sally had been telling lies so long that hearing the truth, from her own mouth, was somehow foreign to her. She had lied to her husband, her children, and even to herself. Sally soon realized that she would have to deal with the past in order to truly heal.
What the Bayou Saw is filled with real life injustices which bring about brutal understanding through spiritual reflection and forgiveness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Story! April 13, 2009
Patti Lacy has poured herself into What the Bayou Saw, and the result is an engrossing and beautifully written novel about secrets, healing, and transformed lives. As her characters struggled to overcome prejudice and lies, I struggled with them, and then I rooted for them as they began to free themselves from their burden of lies. I was captivated by this story!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars what the bayou saw
I love books taking place in the south. They always catch my attention and I am rarely disappointed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sandy
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, thought-provoking and worthehile read
An interesting story of an interesting era of anguish and change, of people reaching across bridges, of people hurt, people forgiving and people learning what is important in life... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars What the Bayou Saw
Two little girls, one black, the other white met over their backyard fence. They were not allowed to play together because of the racial tensions of the early 60's. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Annie Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really liked it very much. It was good reading. Thank you, Shirley Becker
Published 9 months ago by shirley becker
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Story
Sad subject matter, but a very good read.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed this southern book about how times were
I liked that Sally and Eve developed a friendship despite racism in the south. These little girl overcame a deep secret that almost destroyed both of their lives
Published 10 months ago by Shoulanda August
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiring to read some of it.
The story is good. I enjoyed the book, but the wanderings into the history of the girl was too much. I got tired of reading so much of that. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend
I loved this book. It was set during Katrina and I could hardly put it down...
Published 10 months ago by C. George
4.0 out of 5 stars OK book
Slow read but I got through it. It was not one of those you can't put down books. slow--slow--slow read
Published 17 months ago by jam
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book
I purchased this book from Patti Lacy writes wonderful books about women and the secrets that they keep. Read more
Published on August 15, 2011 by Paper Roses
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More About the Author

In 2005, Patti traded in her grade books for a writer's pen to tell the long-buried story of her best friend. "An Irishwoman's Tale," "What the Bayou Saw," and "The Rhythm of Secrets" explore the secrets women keep and why they keep them. Patti's fourth book, "Reclaiming Lily," from Bethany House, transports readers to a Chinese orphanage, where two cultures and two women collide. Claiming influences as diverse as Francine Rivers and Jodi Piccoult, Patti weaves stories of grace that have in their fiber real-life incidents.

Currently Patti's juggling three projects: a friend's memoir, an 1860s historical romance, and a series set in Patti's home town, Normal, Illinois. Patti soothes her itch to teach by leading seminars, facilitating writing classes, and speaking at women's events. Patti and her husband Alan, a college professor, have two grown children and a dog named Laura.

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