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The Gates of Evangeline

(Charlie Cates #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,633 ratings  ·  632 reviews
From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .

When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grie
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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3.83  · 
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 ·  3,633 ratings  ·  632 reviews

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Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: free-from-work
first in a trilogy: a romance-heavy southern gothic psychic detective ghost story in which a mother goes through the grieving process, solves a cold case and is swept up in a family mystery. oh, and there's a man.

so, yeah - a bit cluttery, but not unenjoyable. it's pretty standard gothic romance fare - there's a spooky antebellum estate, home to the secretive and unpleasant deveau family whose matriarch is dying of cancer and making some last-minute adjustments to her will, there's a dreamy lan
Elyse Walters
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is the very first Southern Gothic Mistry book I have ever read.
Wonderful storytelling! I was never bored!
Charlie Cates's child died of a brain aneurysm- while at preschool. He was only 3 years old.
While still grieving - it made perfect sense to me that Charlie was having
disturbing nightmares of children. --- but her nightmares were not only from after affects of the
pain- unbearable loss.

Something else is going on in those dreams. Seems she has inherited abilities - like the
Diane S ☔
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 An intriguing title, gorgeous cover, paranormal visions of children asking for help, the Louisianans swamps and the genre Southern Gothic and I was all over this one.

Interesting story with Charlotte, recovering from overwhelming grief taking an assignment from an old boss to try to find out the secrets that those at Evangeline may be hiding. The kidnapping of their young son many years ago, the mother now elderly and losing her memory more day by day make this assignment very difficult. Of c
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, debut
With sincere appreciation to G.P. Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss for providing the e-galley of The Gates of Evangeline to be puclished September 1, 2015.

With a nod to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline and Gabriel, Hester Young delivers a solid debut. Charlotte “Charlie” Cates is grieving the death of her young son when she is offered a book deal about a missing child cold case on the Louisiana Deveau Estate, Evangeline. When another child enters Charlie’s life in what seems a prophetic vision
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I liked this book well enough. I didn't feel like gushing about it when I finished but I did enjoy the story. This was one of those books that I found that I really liked some aspects a whole lot and other things in the book would lose me a little. In the end, the good outweighed the bad for me.

Charlie is mourning the sudden loss of her young son. As you can imagine, she is going through the motions of daily living but is rather lost. When sh
I read The Burning Island, the third book in this series, and absolutely loved it so I thought I should back track and read the first two to catch up. It was good to get the backstory on Charlie Cates, how she got to the point where she is in the third book, which works well as a stand alone if you're wondering. Hester Young is a talented writer who weaves together a suspenseful, atmospheric tale set on an old southern plantation with too many secrets, both past and present. If you haven't read ...more
If you like Lifetime movies this is a perfect reading choice.
Susan Crowe
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!!!
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was pretty spooky at times. There was actually a couple of times that I actually got chills. That's a great thing!
The main character in this story had dreams leading her to different situations. She was a little slow at times, figuring out their meanings. I actually figured out one situation way before she did. The main mystery. I'm wondering if I was suppose to. I NEVER figure things out before hand like some do so that's the o
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
The Gates of Evangeline is an absolutely wonderful book. I love reading books with a setting in the American South, especially with a mystery in the heart of the story, like this one. Charlotte “Charlie” Cates has, after losing her son, started to have vivid dreams about children in danger. And, they seem to come true. So, when a little boy shows up in her dream begging for help as she at the same time is approached about writing a book about a little boy that disappeared around thirty years ago ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This is nearly a 4 star, but then it isn't. If it had had a tighter edit, it would have been. The first half was more than a 4 star of interest and enjoyment. This is going to be the first of a trilogy and the main character, Charlie by nickname, is deserving. She is bias "eyes" (New York city magazine writer biased) and equally as strong and opinionated. We find her in a period of mourning that will absolutely not be long or contained into a further isolation because her core does not partake o ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: debs-books, misc-wins
This was such a great book. I mean, I could not put it down. This was the fastest I have ever read 400 pages. There is so much drama and the tension level is so high through most of this book. And the suspects for this 30 year old murder case, the number is crazy. Shoot, any of the family members alone are so cray cray that they could have done it.

There are some pretty strange characters in this book and that's not counting the ones who could be suspects. However, Charlie's dreams do help one co
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story. The plot was well written and I didn't see the things coming which is always a plus. But dear God, that love story was like a thorn in my eye. It was completely uncalled for and it ruined the book for me.
Dale Harcombe
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirty years earlier Gabriel Devau’s nanny put him to bed and locked the bedroom door. The next morning the door was still locked but Gabriel was gone. Where is he? How did he get out of a locked room with only one door and locked windows? What happened to him? That is one mystery – the mystery Charlotte Cates (Charlie) believes she is meant to solve after the vision of a young child urging her to let everyone know the truth about the one who has hurt him.
Charlotte is still trying to deal with h
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
3.5 stars.

I liked this book,didn't love it. I had a few issues with the protagonists/authors view of the south and southerners. Her interpretation of speech,intelligence and customs seemed rather elitist. The protagonist also had an irritating habit of judging folks by their appearance. I didn't find her that likeable but the story had a few good twists.
CD {Boulder Blvd}
3.5 stars

This was a slow pace kind of mystery with a little romance and paranormal thrown in.

The paranormal aspects were woven into the story well and I enjoyed that aspect. It wasn't too OTT and felt believable within the context of the plot.

The mystery was slowly revealed with little suspense. The pace of the mystery was a little slower than my preference. It also was a little predictable as I guessed Gabriel correctly. There were a couple of times where Charlie was a little too TSTL.

I will re
Book of Secrets
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THE GATES OF EVANGELINE is a dark Southern Gothic/mystery that I enjoyed very much, even though I got tears in my eyes several times while reading it. Soon after the death of her young son, main character Charlie Cates starts having dreams of children coming to her for help. One such dream leads her to the swamps of Louisiana, where she gets entangled in a decades-old cold case of a missing child from a wealthy and powerful family.

This book is the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and romance,
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I went into this thinking (and hoping!) I was going to love this book, and there were many parts of it I did love - the Louisiana plantation setting, the narrator's voice - "an outsider," the well-developed characters, and the mystery of it it all; but there were things missing that would have made it a better read for me. I ended up "liking" the book well enough, and I am pretty certain I'll pick up the next book to find out what happens next for Charlie. Thanks to the publisher and the author, ...more
Glenna Pritchett
I was very impressed with this debut southern gothic/paranormal mystery. It's set in Louisiana, which is the very best place in the whole of the USA for gothic aura. Those bayous can be darned spooky! There is a great cast of characters, rich detail, excellent pacing, and a twist that caught me completely off guard.

The rich Deveau family owns a big ol' mansion in the bayous, called Evangeline. The Deveaus suffered a tragedy 30 years ago when their small son, Gabriel, disappeared without a trace
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suffused with the hot, steamy atmosphere of Louisiana The Gates of Evangeline immediately immerses the reader into the leisurely pace of life in the deep South, and the chasm between the have and have-nots. Inveigling her protagonist, Charlie Cates in the lives of the singularly dislikeable Deveau family, with all their deep and dirty secrets, Young spins a tale flavoured with a good dose of Southern Gothic, and a family saga tinged by an otherworldly supernatural twist. Young also captures perf ...more
Renee (
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
You can see all of my reviews on

The beginning of the story was, for me, a pretty slow burn set up of the rest of the book, but that's not a negative at all as I found it quite interesting. We meet Charlie who's struggling to put her life back together following the sudden death of her young son. I really felt for her and thought the author did a great job weaving in the details of Charlie's day to day fight to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I felt a connection w
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Hard for me to believe that this is a debut novel. It’s actually the first real gothic mystery that I’ve ever read and I thought it was very, very well done. I wasn’t sure initially if it would be too sad because the subject includes the death of children, but it is woven into the story in such a way that I was committed to finding out what happened to a little boy who has been missing for 30 years.

Charlie Gates is mourning the death of her 3 year old son who died unexpectedly of an aneurysm. In
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A journalist from New York, Charlotte “Charlie” Cates, is reeling after the death of her young son. She begins to have dreams that appear to be premonitions of children in danger. She’s not sure what it all means, but when she is offered the opportunity to investigate a thirty-year old unsolved missing child case, she accepts.

Charlie’s assignment takes her to Louisiana where she meets the wealthy, not to mention eccentric, Deveau family. It’s the Deveau’s youngest son who went missing all those
Another five star read, in my opinion. Loved the gothic southern plantation setting! As a native of Louisiana, and a fan of touring these gorgeous homes, it was easy for me to imagine the scenes Young describes so well. Great story! Flowing storyline with a protagonist that I identified with right away. Charlie and I both lost a young child. I could feel her emotions and I easily understood how Charlie's mind was open to dark, brooding thoughts and dreams. The loss of a child can leave one open ...more
Sarah Swann
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great read! This had different elements from paranormal to crime and mystery. I loved the setting in Louisiana and the audiobook had a great narrator who did great southern accents. I really found myself emerged in the story and wanting to know who was who and who did what. Really enjoyed this!
Jennie Damron
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the family intrigue of lies and betrayal in the setting of the Louisiana Bayou. That kept me reading and enjoying the story. I didn't buy the romance she tried to include with Charlie and Noah. It seemed more forced and contrived than believable. Also some of the writing felt choppy in places, but overall I enjoyed this book.
The Lit Bitch
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of other reviews have said this book and a little cluttery, and I would completely agree…..this book had a lot going on……ghost story, romance, family mystery and secrets, grieving mother…..just a lot of stuff happening, that was the reason for the 4 star review instead of 5. But even though there some literary clutter happening, I still really really liked it. The mystery was compelling and the ghost part was added a lot of me as a reader. Initially I worried that meshing mystery with ghos ...more
Lynn Spencer
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 stars This book is truly a mixed bag. On the positive side, the author evokes a wonderful southern gothic atmosphere with her setting, an isolated Louisiana plantation. I also appreciated that the narrator, an author from New York, clearly sounds like an outsider amidst those around her. She wouldn't fit into this world overnight and thankfully the author didn't expect her to.

Charlotte ("Charlie") Cates has been treading water since losing her preschool-aged son to a freak health issue. Not
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a solid suspense/mystery novel that is easily read and engrossing. I wanted a “book candy” sort of mystery, and this fit the bill. The best part of the novel is that I did not guess the end, which is very important to me.

As the Book jacket states, Charlotte (Charlie) Cates is a bereaved young mom who starts to have vivid dreams of endangered children. She learns her grandmother had “the gift” which validates her dreams. A young boy asks for her help in her dreams, and Charlie embarks on
Priscille Sibley
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Although I figured out most of the mystery before the sleuth did in this debut mystery, I found the story and characters engaging and the atmosphere immersive. I definitely recommend for mystery and women's fiction fans. Well done!
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
eh...seemed rather predictable and some of Charlie's actions did not ring true...Young lost me after the one night stand.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 25, 2017 10:32AM  
Tipton County Pub...: The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young 1 6 Feb 03, 2016 10:10AM  

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Hester Young has lived in Boston, London, Tucson, Honolulu, and central New Jersey. A mother of two, she was a teacher for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. Her first novel, THE GATES OF EVANGELINE, was inspired by a family tragedy and a mysterious dream. Its sequel, THE SHIMMERING ROAD, will be released in February 2017.

Other books in the series

Charlie Cates (3 books)
  • The Shimmering Road (Charlie Cates, #2)
  • The Burning Island (Charlie Cates, #3)
“You can tell a lot about an area from its library, and I'd never discount the usefulness of town archives.” 5 likes
“I wonder if the boy is a witness, perp, or victim. It bothers me that I can't tell, that a predator can look no different from its prey.” 2 likes
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