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Little Gale Gumbo

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  486 ratings  ·  87 reviews
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 Cafe, has become an island staple, as has the legacy of her romance with islander Ben Haskell. But when Ben is found unconsc ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Berkley Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  486 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Hallie Sawyer
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This 400-page contemporary fiction novel is written with a Maine setting so rich with sensory detail that the state has now moved up on my list of places I must visit. The story is about a woman and her daughters beginning a new life by letting Fate determine where they land. They end up on an island off the coast of Maine called Little Gale Island. The residents of this sleepy community are hesitant to take in the Bergeron woman as their Creole heritage is as foreign to Mainers as a palm tree. ...more
Erika Robuck
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The novel’s roots are set in New Orleans in 1977 when a street-smart, fast-talking musician charms his way into a young Creole girl’s heart. The two marry and have two daughters: Dahlia and Josephine. After enduring Charles’ affairs, illegal activities, and abuse, Camille flees New Orleans with her girls to start a new life where he can’t find them.

They end up in the small town of Little Gale, Maine, and while the town regards the colorful Southern girls with suspicion, their landlord, Ben, a si
Alex George
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
LITTLE GALE GUMBO, Erika Marks's debut novel, was a delight from start to finish. Did it help that the novel is set principally in Maine, one of my favorite places? Sure. Did it help that there was lots of jazz and mouth-watering descriptions of delicious Louisiana food? Sure. But in the end, it's the story, and the characters, that matter - and here Erika Marks succeeds brilliantly. She has created a tale rich with intrigue, heartache, and secrets galore, and in the Bergeron family she has crea ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Little Gale Gumbo was not only mouthwatering with the sounds and tastes of New Orleans cooking (and recipes at the back of the book!), but it was also ripe with tension and blended with equal parts secrecy. Part mystery and many-part love story, it is a tale of betrayal, forgiveness, love, longing, regret, hope and redemption.

In this tasty debut, author Erika Marks deftly juggles multiple themes, subplots, and the multi-generational story of a group of strong women of mixed-Creole descent with v
Rachel Bertsche
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was home sick the day I read Little Gale Gumbo, and thank god I had the book to keep me company. The day passed in a flash because I couldn't tear myself away from Dahlia, Josie, Ben and everyone.

What I loved about the book--other than the great writing--was the just-enough suspense. I HAD to keep reading, because I was dying to know what happened. Also, the relationships are so real. They're not always neat, or pretty, and sometimes you just want to shake one of the girls to get their head o
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-debutantes
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 ...more
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? This book leaves me with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I picked up the book not expecting much and I came out more than satisfied that I read this book. This part love story and part mystery will keep you reading (once it sucks you in).

I really liked the format of the story. It alternates between present day and the past. The way both stories unfold complement each other and help to slowly open the readers' eyes. I admit that I do rather like the history of how they came to be be
Missy Olive
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
How much editing, revising, and re-revising must it have taken for a debut author to create such an amazing novel? I loved this book from the beginning down to the last page.

Erika has taken great care to make the reader feel as if she is walking the streets of NOLA or riding the ferry in Maine right alongside the characters. And the characters....Erika carefully constructed each one causing the reader to love them (or to hate them in some cases).

The story itself is just as great as the characte
Sara Walquist
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-again
This one disappointed me. I finally just gave up, which I've only ever done with one other book. The writing wasn't terrible, but some of the descriptions weren't as pointed as I would've liked. Events with the characters, and their overall portrayal also left something to be desired. I know others might enjoy this one, but for me it ran too near the "romance novel" line and involved characters that just weren't believable. No one becomes fully enraptured with another in a single day. Adult huma ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it

I find it refreshing when a book/story can sweep me up and take me away for an hour or two from whatever is going on in my life at the time. While the story has some sad moments, esp. with the domestic violence parts, it kept me engaged and anxious to get back to the story. I enjoyed the author's style of blending current storyline with the story from the past. I'll definitely keep note of Erika Marks name for future books to read (as she writes them!)!
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to KyBunnies by: Goodreads
********** THIS IS A GOODREADS WIN!!!**********

What such an amazing book. The author wrote a wonderful book. There is some jumping back into the past but the author has it written so the reader is not confused. This is a wonderful fast read. I honestly could not put it down. I can not wait to try the Gumbo recipe at the end of the book.
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Little Gale Gumbo is a novel about family secrets, sisters, love, and voodoo. The characters are well developed and bring the story to life. The setting is a character. One of the best books I've read this year. Can't wait for the next. ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mercy! What a story. I thought I had it figured out and then I was wrong and then I was wronger. Ericka Marks simmers up a wonderful pot as complex as the real thing and equally as delicious. Fantastic!
Ann Warner
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lovely, delicious, intriguing book. The author did an amazing job of weaving together the past and present story lines. And she made me care about her characters. Highly recommended.
Lani Myers
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just adored all of the characters. The chain of who loves who was intriguing and how that affected their lives. Plus a little mystery in the mix. Great!
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
To escape an abusive marriage that threatens her two teenage daughters, Camille Bergeron flees her beloved New Orleans and lands on a small island off the coast of Maine. Once there she finds refuge by renting the upstairs apartment in a house belonging to Ben Haskell and his son Matthew. Quickly the lives of these two broken families become intertwined both in love and in business as they use Camille’s Creole cooking talents to found the Little Gale Gumbo restaurant. While this might be the fou ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little Gale Gumbo by Erika Marks
Contemporary Romance -Oct. 4th, 2011
4 stars

Camille Bergeron left New Orleans and an abusive husband and fled to Little Gale, Maine to start a new life with her two daughters Dahlia and Josie. Embarking on a new life, she and Ben Haskell opened up a new restaurant, the Little Gale Gumbo Cafe. Winning over her new neighbors with her delicious home-cooking, Camille and her daughters soon become a part of the community and Ben’s family. Dahlia, Josie, and Ben’s son, M
Sep 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
I won this book through goodreads giveaways so I hate to give it only one star (didn't like it). Don't let the cover fool you - this is not a happy story about a woman taking her children from New Orleans to Maine to start a new life on their own. It's about domestic violence. The story is told in flashbacks and I was beginning to dread what else was going to be revealed, especially about the horrid Dahlia.

I looked at all the books I have on my to-read list and realised I just didn't have the ti
Kati Bowditch
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a FirstReads Winner!

My best recommendation for this book is the fact that I picked this up and could not put it down until I was done. Literally, it was impossible too. Drawn into the spellbinding story of a woman and her kids, transplanted by bravery to escape abuse, drawn into a skeptical but eventually warming community. The struggles of sisters who have to decide what secrets to keep and which ones that it has become time to tell. A story of love, the fire burning passionate and dy
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's true that I'm not unbiased when it comes to Little Gale Gumbo, but friend and fellow blogger Erika Marks has written a wonderful debut novel that I'd recommend wholeheartedly. For me the emotional heart of the story is the sisterly bond between Dahlia and Josephine - and all of the baggage that comes along with it. The story takes place in both New Orleans and Little Gale Island, off the coast of Maine. It is chock full of delicious dishes, romance and friendship, but no story about sisters ...more
Susan Coster
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a delightful story of a brave Creole woman, Camille, who leaves her home in New Orleans with her 2 daughters in order to escape an abusive husband. She is headed to Canada but never quite makes it and instead, settles on a island off the coast of Portland, Maine, Little Gale. At first the islanders don't know quite what to make of this unlikely threesome on a largely white island....but Camille's gumbo and other Creole/Cajun specialties win them over. I didn't quite understand the love i ...more
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I received this book from goodreads firstreads giveaways. I really enjoyed this book, although it actually quite sad, with domestic violence and unrequited love. It tells the story of a woman and her two daughters, on the run from her violent husband, they leave New Orleans and end up on a small island on the coast of Maine. I grew up in Maine, as did the author, and while I often roll my eyes at fictionalized Maine, she did a very good job, right down the to name of the old department store. Pa ...more
Dec 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: maine
I was warned that the number of characters made the story tough to follow, and that turned out to be true for me, so I retread the beginning to get them straight. However, then the time switches compounded that, and now that I've finished, I'm wondering who is going to get Matthew? What will he do when he returns, other than take care of his father? Won't it be tough knowing about Dahlia's pregnancy and now she will be with Jack? Descriptive, natural sounding language gives strong sense of place ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Great beach read. This is the second book I've read by this author. So much of her novels is told in flashbacks, it can get a little confusing at times. But one thing I really like is that the books aren't really "romancy." There are always love stories involved, but they don't hijack the plot, and there's no gratuitous sex scenes. I like that, I don't need the ridiculous descriptions about heaving what-nots. So, if you're looking for some light summer reading that can still hold your attention, ...more
Another really good debut novel! Loved this story, set in New Orleans and Maine-unforgettable characters and a great story of an exploration of family with secrets that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. I didn't want it to end and looking forward to more of Erika Marks books. Also some good Cajun recipes included! ...more
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Engaging characters, real dialog, interesting features of New Orleans voodoo and fantastic cuisine. I had trouble putting it down, and miss the characters now that I'm done. Marks keeps the story moving with twists and turns. Love the way she moves from present time to past and back.

Definitely a good read.

Can't wait to try out the praline recipe.
Amber Jones
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book seemed to take forever for me to read.

I had issues with the jumping back and forth in time because I felt it really broke the story up at the wrong times.

The ending really fell flat too. The secrets were never truely revealed to those that should have known the truth.

Little disappointing.
Cindy White
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a very good book. The only issues I had with it was that it kept bouncing back and fourth from 1961 - 2002. It is just personal preference but I like to read in the exact timeline from start to finish. The story was great!
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
If this is a first novel, I can't wait to read more. The characters were nicely original and well developed, the plot lines were thoughtful, the writing fun and compassionate. Well Done!!
I am so glad to see new authors like Erica Marks emerge on the scene!
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I liked the way the secrets were revealed and I loved the characters. I am glad there are recipes in the back of the book because the story gave me a craving for Creole food.
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