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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Christian / Romance / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:416
  • eBook ISBN:9781483578958
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483578941

The Girl With the Pendant Pearl

by James Pumpelly

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When culinary grad Maria Valentino falls in love with French Quarter chef Roman Robideaux, she is torn between honesty and a dark secret: her rape on a Florida beach. But when the rapist appears among Bourbon Street revelers, Maria is confronted with a past that could at any moment destroy what love is promising. A seductive story of redemption and triumph spiked with Louisiana culture, compelling mystery, and vivid characters, The Girl with the Pendant Pearl is breathtaking, yet complex and unpredictable, a feel-good, historically accurate narrative guaranteed to move you.

Set in the post-Katrina French Quarter, the narrative addresses Louisiana's struggle with nature, the pending cataclysm caused by political neglect, and the workaday lives of imperiled natives.

Chef Robideaux provides a first-person account of Cajun culture, while newcomer Maria brings personal tragedy to their budding romance. Garden District millionaire Chef Palermo's wife finds faith to battle terminal cancer while helping her doctor discover his father's identity.  

The restaurant courtyard and bars add local color to the drama, mystery, and challenges facing the staff. Greek, Italian, French and American heritages interplay in the caught-breath moments, underscoring the ethnic fibre of New Orleans. 

Completed on:


Review Rating:

5 stars!

Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

The Girl with the Pendant Pearl by James Pumpelly is fascinating in many respects, a powerful tale of love, secrets, and, of course, redemption. Maria Valentino falls in love with a very charming man, Roman Robideaux, a French Quarter chef, and her life is almost a song, but then her past comes back to haunt her when she meets the same man who raped her before. Set in a beautiful Louisiana milieu with its colorful culture and rich history, this story will find a certain home with fans of mystery and romance. 

The plot is riveting, flowing like drippings of the honeycomb. But there is something that readers will enjoy as much as the fast-paced plot and the complex characters – the beauty of the language, brimming with vivid descriptions and powerful statements about life. The very first statement offers insight into life and invites the reader to reflective thought: “The line between confusion and clarity is a fine one, the length of an instant. Quick as a thought, it’s the sudden awareness of when to stop, the heartbeat between feat and failure, fear and felicity.” But then the very evocative, creative and humorous way the author describes people and scenes will delight most readers. The narrator describes his mother’s laughter as “musical, like glitter in darkness, or moonbeams dappling the hyacinths on the bayou…” 

The use of the first person narrative is masterful and the clear, beautiful voice of the narrator is irresistible. Here is a lovely romance charged with conflict and action, but that contains the lure of beautiful prose. James Pumpelly’s The Girl with the Pendant Pearl is a delightful read!

About the author
Born in Louisiana, the author was homeschooled while traveling the Americas with his evangelist parents. After college, home had many names, among them Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts and Vermont. Mr. Pumpelly currently lives in Louisiana amidst the Acadian culture his novels portray.

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