In Jonathan Olivier’s novel Between the Levees, 25-year-old Sam Miller travels to Bayou Pigeon, Louisiana, to search for Vincent Dupuis, a now-elderly man who had unsuccessfully tried to gain custody of Sam after he was orphaned as a young child. The story deals with realistic life situations, such as overcoming a painful past, though it also has a pleasant feeling of escapism; the book has a calm and peaceful atmosphere to it. Sam is sometimes rough around the edges, but he is a likable, empathic, and well-rounded character.
Olivier writes with rich and beautiful description, and while reading the story, it is easy to feel as if you have been transported to Bayou Pigeon, the Atchafalaya Basin, or any of Olivier’s serene settings. A great thing about the storyline is that throughout the book, the plot was not predictable, and it was intriguing to see what would happen next.
Between the Levees makes the reader think about the meaning of family and friendship – and the meaning of home. It is a hopeful story, showing that even in dark times, hope can be found, and lives can be changed for the better. This novel was very enjoyable to read.
You can find Between the Levees here.