Little Gale Gumbo

Little Gale Gumbo

4.6 29
by Erika Marks

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When Camille and her two teenage daughters fled New Orleans for the island of Little Gale off the coast of Maine, the islanders were initially more suspicious than welcoming. Twenty-five years later, Camille's Creole restaurant, The Little Gale Gumbo Café, has become an island staple-as has the legacy of her romance with islander Ben Haskell. Camille and Ben,


When Camille and her two teenage daughters fled New Orleans for the island of Little Gale off the coast of Maine, the islanders were initially more suspicious than welcoming. Twenty-five years later, Camille's Creole restaurant, The Little Gale Gumbo Café, has become an island staple-as has the legacy of her romance with islander Ben Haskell. Camille and Ben, along with their children, created a new family unit with a seemingly unbreakable bond. But when Ben is found unconscious in his home, next to the body of Camille's estranged husband, old secrets and suspicions reemerge, and the family must reunite to hope for Ben's survival. But as revelations come to the surface, so do long-held secrets that will test the limits and definitions of family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Marks’s expansive but generic debut chronicles the lives and loves of young sisters Dahlia and Josie, who move with their mother, Camille, from New Orleans to Little Gale, an island off the Maine coast, to escape their abusive father, Charles Bergeron. In Little Gale, the trio make their home in Ben Haskell’s extra room. Ben and Camille fall in love while the girls befriend Ben’s son, Matthew. Josie, the younger sister and daddy’s girl, eagerly learns Camille’s gumbo recipes and voodoo rituals. Cynical older sister Dahlia cultivates an unhealthy attitude toward men that leads to promiscuity and breaking the heart of her high school sweetheart, Jack Thurlow. Josie yearns for Matthew, who yearns for Dahlia. Charles, usually dealing drugs or in prison, makes intermittent disruptive appearances on the island over the course of years, at one point giving Josie ,000 to hold for him in secret. When Charles returns to Little Gale, he attacks Ben and lands him in a coma and gets himself killed, and past secrets threaten to disrupt everyone’s lives. Though densely plotted, the book moves at a snail’s pace, and the benevolent male characters prove indistinguishable. (Oct.)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Erika Marks is a native New Englander who was raised in Maine and has worked as an illustrator, cake decorator, and carpenter. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, a native New Orleanian, their two daughters, and their dog.

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Little Gale Gumbo 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1977 Camille Bergeron accompanied by her two daughters Dahlia and Josie left New Orleans to escape her abusive husband Charles as she fears he will harm their children. She opens up the Little Gale Gumbo Café on Little Gale Island, Maine. On the barrier island, she rents a room from Ben Haskell. He is instantly attracted to the best praline maker in New England while his teenage son Matthew is gaga for Camille's daughters. While most of the islanders do not welcome the three Creole females, they cannot resist her food. The three Bergeron females and the two Haskell males become a close knit family. By 2002 Camille and Ben live together in love and harmony. Josie eagerly learned her mom's recipes and remains attracted to Matthew who desires Dahlia; while Dahlia has become a loose woman sleeping around and hurting her high school boyfriend Jack Thurlow. Charles the drug dealer visited his girls periodically since his females deserted him. When he returns to Little Gale, Charles assaults Ben; Charles dies while lying next to him Ben is in a coma. The three next generation come back home to be there for the patriarch; while secrets concealed for years surface tearing apart an extended family. Little Gale Gumbo is an entertaining family drama starring a strong cast as the key sextet are fully developed and the islanders add local color to an intriguing suspense. The story line is well written, but does slow down with vivid descriptions of the island and the café's food. With a deft late twist, fans will enjoy stopping at the Little Gale Gumbo for good food and to learn the secrets. Harriet Klausner
JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of LITTLE GALE GUMBO and WOW, am I glad I did! It took me a while to read, not because I'm a slow reader, but because like good home-cooking, (and speaking of which, there are great recipes at the back of it, which I'm definitely going to try) it needed to be savored and rolled on the tongue to get the full effect of its bouquets and textures. This book, about a woman and her two daughters who escape an abusive man and try to make a new life, is told in alternate scenes of present day 2002 and various flashbacks that layer this beautifully drawn story of family dynamics, love, heartache, loss and in the end, acceptance. With each chapter, more is revealed about the family and its history and though some of the secrets are shocking, never once does this book become overly dramatic or maudlin. This was an honest story of what really happens in some families and what strong, charismatic people do to not just survive and get by in this life, but to thrive and learn to love, both themselves and others. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book and the subtle way I, as the reader, was taken by the hand and led through the twists and turns of the lives of the three Bergeron women. I think I need to read it again to fully appreciate the layers of the story and how beautifully it is written. I'll get to that right after I whip up some gumbo and pralines. flag
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful chacters, page turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book very well written I enjoyed it very much. 
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It s time for the answer
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DevynB More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! She left me wanting more!
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My territory bi<3>tches
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