What the River Washed Away begins with Constance Laing, the former Arletta Lilith Johnson, living in Africa. Arletta was born in 1901 near Brouillette, Louisiana, but has been living in Africa for 50 years. How did Africa become home for Constance? And how did she go from Arletta Lilith Johnson to Constance Laing?
Debut novelist Muriel Mharie Macleod answers these questions as she flawlessly writes in the voice of Arletta, leading us into her life as a young girl in this voodoo-infused bayou of rural early 20th century Louisiana. Here, Arletta is repeatedly raped by her mother's acquaintance, Mr. McIntyre, who runs the bank where Mambo, as Arletta calls her imperious, indifferent mother, works as a cleaning woman. Mambo heads out on the town night after night, dancing, partying, spending time with many men, leaving Arletta to McIntyre's horrific advances; and those of the "tall and ...
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