This is the story of a family feud between the Bruneaus and Petitjeans, which comes to a head when it seems the only way for both families to continue making their living through oysters is for the young Petitjean daughter, Therese, to marry head of the Bruneau clan, Horse. However, Therese murders Horse in the first chapter, meaning a new bridge must be built.
There is no great depth to this story or its characters, yet it's not badly written, and the plot holds it together. The relationship between Therese and the youngest Bruneau boy, Rusty, is nicely drawn; and there is an interesting play of family loyalties - wondering which side of the fence each character would finally come down on is what keeps the reader hooked.
Although I was on the verge of putting this book down at the end of each chapter, it kept me just intrigued enough to want to see how the story panned out, and I found that I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.
"Oyster", a sultry, spicy, ancient Greek-style drama set in the bayous of Louisiana, gives more proof that most of the best new English-language novelists are in the US these days. John Biguenet wastes not one word in either descriptive writing or dialogue as he builds up his intensely atmospheric account of a feud sowing tragedy between two neighbouring families in the declining oyster business. The plot is simple but effective, the author's ear for the humour and menace of Louisiana language is spot on. Don't miss the mouth-watering recipe for jambalaya slipped cleverly into one scene.