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Eva is a pragmatic dreamer, raised by a subserviant mother and schizophrenic father in a small Cajun town south of New Orleans. As she prepares to marry before her 21st birthday, Eva begins testing the boundaries of her own reality. Soon she finds herself faced with a loss that will force her to either perish in, or awaken from, a beautifully anguished dance with destiny. More
Praise for Belle Douleur:
A Coming of Age Story with a Mystical Twist...
"BELLE DOULEUR is a fast-paced, well-written and inspired first novel. When I first picked it up, I thought the story was intended for teenage readers. However, the lesson learned by Eva, the protagonist, is thought-provoking, timeless and applicable to a much wider audience. Book clubs are going to have a blast discussing the ending!"
- Ira Spector, Novelist
Best Book of 2010!
"Belle Douleur is one of the best books of 2010. It is suspenseful, romantic, and thrilling. Ms. Bourgeois has done a great job in that she allows you to do what other authors rarely can- easily slip into the role of the main character, Eva. Kudos to Ms. Bourgeois!" -LibLady
Captivating Novel from the Heart of a Poet...
"Belle Douleur is a story that so many can relate to no matter how you were raised or where your roots lie. The love story as well as the mental anguish that goes along with having a father who is sick touched me in so many ways. I literally couldn't put the book down and even after it was over I was dying to know more about the world of Eva Fontenot." -Amy Frederick
Belle Douleur, A Journey for the Mind and Spirit...
"I curled up with this little book last night. Immediately I was transported to a small bayou town and back to my teen years. I felt as if I were on a journey with Eva and I enjoyed every minute. The issues Eva deals with and the thoughts she expresses prove her wise beyond her teen years. The author allows the reader to embark with Eva on a journey that tests the limits of faith and strength. A work that is raw and personal, yet entertaining fiction." - R.Moore
Wonderful Southern Dish...
"This was a great book for first time novelist Melissa. Enjoyed every page, held my interest and could not put it down. Actually didn't want it to end. Can't wait to read more of her in the future." -Marilyn Johnson
"This was an excellent read--I found myself easily relating to the main character in spite of being twice as old as her! The author's treatment of mental illness was compassionate and intelligent. Very engaging." -Kerrie Halmi
An excerpt from Belle Douleur:
I’ve always been afraid of the not-knowingness of the dark. This time, when my perception began to depart from the light, I drew my protective shield (a threadbare pink quilt) just beneath my anxious eyes, as if it could provide any defense against the images that danced around my mind -
hazy visions that I sensed were an amalgamation of myth and truth… and not all my own. No matter. These visions were still powerful enough to set my blood lashing through my veins during that last moment, as I gasped to rise above them.
“Close your eyes,” said Mr. Marceaux, his gaze intent and fixed on mine.
“No, thank you,” I responded hesitantly, regretting once again being assigned a seat at the front of the class. I was not the kind of student to disobey a teacher, but this little
experiment felt strange to me.
“If you close your eyes right now,” he said, ignoring me and addressing the others, his excitement increasing with each word, “you can actually experience something you have never experienced before - like reaching the top of Mt. Everest.”
Before this moment I genuinely liked Mr. Marceaux - more than most teachers at Port Pointe High - and was even a little sad to hear that he was retiring this year. But today I was annoyed with him.
“The frontal lobe,” he said, with a dramatic two taps to the top of his forehead, “is a very recent development in our evolutionary history as humans. For a few million years, it has provided us with the ability to envision what lies beyond the present moment.”
I glanced behind me toward Livvy, hoping to sneak in an eye roll before Mr. Marceaux turned around, but she’d already fallen asleep on her hand.
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