Paul and Colette are a young married couple living in a Louisiana backwater, but maybe they married too young?
Working in the small local bank, Colette feels stifled by everything. Paul isn't helping - he can't seem to see much beyond his machines and the local bars. So she serves him separation papers and leaves - off to Los Angeles to see what the big city can offer her.
Shocked into action, Paul follows her. Separately, they find that the city holds both opportunity and money - but that it comes at a price. Separately, both find that they are asked to 'sell their souls' and both refuse - and so back they go, separately, to a small town that has gone downhill since they left, the oil companies having departed, their money disappearing with them. How are they now going to make a living?
It was at this point that I felt that the book began to take off - Colette plumbs the depth of her resources to find ways to bring money in, and so she is out on small boats, catching water rat and catfish. There are more than a few hairy moments, when either her life or Paul's hangs in the balance, and gradually, they begin to grow up, find out what is important in life and find their way back towards each other.
After a slow start, I found myself really enjoying this story, which is as much about small town life in Louisiana as it is about Paul and Colette. Highly recommended.