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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

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"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Thursday, September 3, 2015

2015 Book #282: THE GATES OF EVANGELINE by Hester Young

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
ISBN: 9780399174001 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698190771 (ebook)
ASIN: B00UG2MVFY (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 1, 2015 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte "Charlie" Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she's sure that she's lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.
After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie's dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana's prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family's sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust—and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could've imagined. A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won't be able to put down. 

Charlotte "Charlie" Cates has been deeply depressed since the tragic death of her son, Keegan. Everyone around her has been patient, but her job is on the line. Upon her return to work, she decides she doesn't really want to continue at a "fashion" magazine and the opportunity to write a book about the disappearance of a child in the South seems to be the job she needs. Charlie's search for the truth seems to be aided by the paranormal, psychic visions in The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young.

Charlie initially thinks she's losing her mind when she begins to have "dreams" about children. She dreams the daughter of her best friend injures her ankle and it happens. She has dreams about a young boy in a boat and assumes it must be related to the missing-child story, so she sets off for Louisiana. Unfortunately, her arrival at Evangeline is filled with a list of do's and don'ts, such as don't mention the true reason for her being there to anyone, especially Mrs. Deveau, the mother of the missing child. The last thing Charlie expected to find was romance, but she finds it with Noah Palmer, the gardener hired to restore the gardens at Evangeline. Charlie quickly connects with local police detective Minot after giving him a message from his comatose, dying daughter. Charlie's visions set her off on a search for the truth, but that search seems to run into dead ends and more twists and turns than she ever imagined. Is it possible to discover the truth about the disappearance of Gabriel Deveau after all these years? 

The Gates of Evangeline is part mystery, part Southern gothic suspense, and part romance with a bit of the paranormal thrown in just to spice things up. Ms. Young has provided a haunting story that is just as tragic as it is hopeful. I found this to be a fast-paced read that kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. There are good guys (Charlie, Noah, Rae, and more) and not-so-nice guys (the Deveau sisters). I enjoyed the mystery and suspense, just as much as I enjoyed the romance and paranormal aspects of this story. The Gates of Evangeline presents tragedy after tragedy and rather than being a dark and dismal story, it is one about hope and second chances.  I enjoyed everything about this story: the characters, the plot, the action, and the settings. I highly recommend you add The Gates of Evangeline to your TBR list. In my not-so-humble-opinion, The Gates of Evangeline is the perfect read for a late summer weekend or a fall weekend . . . okay, it's a perfect read for anytime! I look forward to reading more from Ms. Young in the future.

Read an excerpt here. 

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  1. I enjoyed this one as well even though there were some elements that normally annoy me (paranormal, kind of cliche romance). But it all seemed to work for me here!

  2. I used to read gothic novels, but got away from it. With the suspense, this sounds like something that could pull me back into it. Good review!
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews