Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

April’s book of the month will be Midnight Bayou.

We will start Thursday April 1st and I will post discussions the Thursdays following, if anyone would like to join.

5 chapters a week.

It will also be found on FB groups : never silence the mad reader

I can’t wait to read with you 💋

3 thoughts on “Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

  1. Discussion #1

    Chapters 1-5

    In the Prologue we are introduced to the Bayou and all its wonders. Its beauty, Its ugly, its whispers, its secrets.

    Midnight Bayou’s main character is really Manet Hall. The home where the dead linger, where hate and love were found, and what was hidden finally comes to light.

    We bounce between two time periods. One love, two different lifetimes. Beginning in 1899 and ending in 2002.

    In 1899, we meet Abigail. She was once servant of Manet Hall, home to Josephine Manet and her two sons, but fell in love with Lucian, married and had a baby together. It is obvious that Josephine does not approve of her sons union and she despises Abigail. It is also obvious that Lucian’s brother Julian lusts over Abigail in a way that means to do her harm. Despite hating the living arrangements with Lucian’s family, Abigail is excited to have her daughter Marie Rose grow up a Manet. She dreams of the way her “petite rose” will be raised a “lady”, she will be accepted, she will have an education, she will belong.

    The tone is set in these first few chapters as we reach our first heartbreak. A drunken Julian rapes and murders Abigail in the nursery and Josephine helps him cover it up. They stage the murder to look like Abigail packed and ran off with a lover. They dragged and sank her down to the bottom of the bayou. Josephine almost killed Marie Rose, but couldn’t get herself to murder her own blood, as much as she wished this baby didn’t exist.

    When we jump to 2002, we are greeted by Declan Fitzgerald, a lawyer of the Boston Fitzgeralds, who decided to drop everything to move to New Orleans and restore Manet Hall. His childhood friend Remy Payne, meets him there, with his wife Effie, and Declan is magnetized toward Lena, the owner of a popular bar nearby. They begin a flirtatious back and forth, obviously drawn together. Declan is a sweetheart charmer with all the manners in his pocket to get the approval of Lena’s grandmother Odette.

    There are rumors that Manet Hall is haunted and Declan begins to believe it. Odd things begin to happen as Declan stays in his home. He begins singing songs that he doesn’t remember knowing. He beings to sleepwalk again, something he hadn’t done since he was a child, he begins hallucinating furnished rooms that are still bare and hearing a baby cry.

    Back in the 1900, the after effects of Abigails death/running away are taking over Manet Hall. Rumors have spread of how Abigail ran away with a lover and that baby Marie was probably not even Lucians. Her name is being tarnished “cajun trash” and Josephine is loving it even though she knows the truth. Lucian refuses to believe that Abigail ran away.

    This is probably the 3rd or so book now that we have read that really jumps between two different time periods and tells them as two different stories within one book. How do you feel about that writing style?

    Did this storyline pull you in immediately or did you have a hard time getting into it?

    Do you consider this a romance novel or a horror story?

    What did you think about the way Declan was drawn to Lena? What were your first impressions on who Declan was to Manet Hall and his ties to that lineage ?

    Any initial thoughts on Abigails murder?

    For me, I love the novels that tell two storylines that parallel each other, but I tend to get drawn to one storyline over the other and find myself impatient to get to the story that I’m more invested in.

    I was immediately pulled in, but I am biased because I have read this before, years ago in high school and already knew that I loved the book. I wanted to reread it because it has been years and years since I have read it, and books hit differently once you are an adult vs. when you are a child.

    I think this is a spooky romance novel. Although depending on how scary it gets, I may change my mind.

    MMMMmm.. If I am going to believe in reincarnation, I would assume that Declan was a reincarnation of Lucian and Lena is a reincarnated Abigail, but the way that Lena describes Lucian with storms in his eyes or something like that, makes me fear that he is actually Julian.

    I was surprised that they murdered Abigail so quickly. The way that we were learning about her family and her story, I thought she was a character for the long hall, but I guess it’s her soul we get to read about from now on. I had a feeling that Julian was going to do something bad to her that night by the way the chapter was reading, but I didn’t think she was going to die. Of course Josephine would cover up for her son, as all villains mothers do, but it was still so ugly, the way that Josephine so carelessly thew away a life.


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