West of New Orleans among a few small Gulf islands lies the Isle aux Chiens, a tiny, impoverished strip of land burdened by intolerable heat and roaming packs of wild dogs. Here a handful of Creole families eke out a meager existence by fishing the Gulf waters. Such is the fate of Al Landry and his seventeen-year-old daughter, Annie. All Annie has ever known is the wild sea, but she longs for other people and places, including the glamor of life in the Big Easy. When a cruel, handsome man from the city passes through, he kindles Annie’s fantasies for a life beyond the island. Soon, the young girl faces a decision: Remain planted in the predictable life she has always known, or toss it all aside for her dreamed-of adventure.
The Hard Blue Sky is Grau’s debut novel, establishing her as a chronicler of bayou life and the complexities of the Deep South’s most impoverished corners.
“A large and delicately colored panorama of summertime on a hot and lonely island off the coast of Louisiana.” (The New Yorker)
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