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Oyster by John Biguenet
John Biguenet's debut novel, Oyster, is set in the Louisiana bayous in 1957. Pollution from oil company canals threatens to destroy the oyster beds that many families have farmed for generations. Felix and Mathilde Petitjean offer their beautiful 18-year old daughter, Therese, to be married to their longtime enemy in hopes that his money can save their livelihood. Therese refuses to be bought and sold and kills the man instead, setting off a cycle of violence and revenge. John Biguenet's capture of the atmosphere and rhythms of life in the bayous have garnered this book praise from several reviewers. The USA Today describes Oyster as "suspenseful and intriguing, with a sultry atmosphere and seething passions."