Shocking, adventurous, colloquial, eloquent, and often graphically unforgettable, "Moonwater" leaves impressions indelible as first love. A magical read for the oft disappointed. In the Cajun milieu of Louisiana's Atchafalaya, "Moonwater" is quasi-biographical, borrowing from Pumpelly's birthplace and fundamentalist rearing. His adolescent years, and his philosophical escape from the gumbo of ethnic ritual, portray an inspiring bildungsroman from a small bayou church to a life large as Love. "Moonwater" beats with a passion for love, family, food, books, and all things Cajun; a narrative lyrical and smart, with occasional undercurrents of rage.