I grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s. During those years, a new form of entertainment was introduced on television: the mini-series. In those early days sagas such as “Rich Man, Poor Man,” “Roots,” “North and South,” “The Thorn Birds,” and “Winds of War,” held America captive, day-after- day, in front of their console televisions in anticipation of what would come next. These sagas were all based around a central family. We watched them grow, win and lose, love and hate, and experience extraordinary conditions and circumstances. When one breaks down the central plot, there are always one or more love stories at its heart. However, the best stories revolved around a strong female matriarch we all wanted to hate, but who we would ultimately love in the end.
This saga pays homage to those great tales and matriarchal characters of my youth. The title, “Camille’s Legacy,” gives the reader an idea as to where this tale will begin and take them. Just the name alone of this central character speaks volumes. Camille has always been such a strong, drama-evoking name in literature and in the Gulf South; it beckons back memories of the most horrific hurricane to hit the region prior to Hurricane Katrina. As the tale of Camille’s Legacy plays out, the reader will soon discover that it will be a twisted tale of loves lost and found again, great tragedies and joys, disasters and recovery and, of course, a murder mystery that will play out over generations.
The story begins in the early 1980s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and plays out over the next quarter century. Camille Wentworth Molineau is at the apex of Baton Rouge society; and with her ambitious husband Mitch, she plans to leave her mark. Camille, on the surface, seems to have it all. She comes from old money, her husband is a successful developer, and she has four children any parent would be proud of. Camille lives, on a cul-de-sac, in a palace of a mansion, in the most exclusive gated community in the state. She is feared or envied by most in her social circle.
For as good as Camille has it, the reader soon finds out her success has come at a cost. One thing I learned from an early age about cul-de-sac living was the only way out of one was to back down or move in a circle. After all, a cul-de-sac is nothing more than a fancy word for a dead end. Camille finds herself backed into a corner almost from the beginning, as the one foil in her life, Irene Murphy moves in next door. Irene, at one time, was Camille’s best friend and she is married to Camille’s high school sweetheart. The drama is built in.
This tale will take the reader through many twists and turns as Camille and her children find their way through life’s pitfalls, mysteries and surprises. This is a tale of the legacies the three families on a cul-de-sac eventually weave together over a quarter century. Although Camille tries to weave her own legacy, she cannot escape the fact she is only one thread of a complex family quilt.