The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Attica Locke’s new novel, The Cutting Season, is a haunting crime thriller that examines race and relationships in the Obama era. Listen to my interview with Attica at 7am CST tomorrow on KAZI 88.7 FM or online at kazifm.org.
In The Cutting Season, the main character Caren Gray is haunted by her past. Gray works as the manager of a former sugar cane plantation turned tourist attraction, Bell Vie, that her ancestors worked on as slaves and as laborers after the end of the civil war. Her family never left the plantation until she went away for college in New Orleans. Hurricane Ike brought her back to Bell Vie.
The single mother of a precocious nine year old, Gray now accepts that she belongs on Bell Vie. She laments the failure of her relationship with the father of her 9 year-old daughter, who is now working in the Obama Administration. She regrets the serious argument that she had with her mother that led to an estrangement that was not resolved when her mother passed away. But she accepts that she belongs back on Bell Vie in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.
Her life changes, however, when the body of a murdered migrant work is found at Bell Vie. When one of her staff members is wrongly arrested for the murder, Gray turns amateur sleuth and in the process discovers secrets about her family and the family that has owned the plantation since 1871 that turn her world upside down.