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son returns to black-haired Catholic Louisiana with a brand-new
blonde-haired Baptist wife and a yearning to be a Cajun like everyone
else in his family, except he can’t speak it, dance it, or cook it
which is just the way his sugar cane-raising daddy wants it.
Filo Desormeaux’s sister has died. Relatives bearing casseroles descend, bringing Filo’s idyllic world of raising sugarcane and tending crawfish ponds to an end. His only refuge is a magical Cajun Dance Band inside his head which he can summon at will.
And he’ll need it. One son wants to plant soybeans. The other’s oil company is transferring him to the end of the earth: Amarillo, Texas. And the wayward son blames Filo for denying him his cultural heritage.
Filo doesn’t know cultural heritage from a hole in the ground and what’s more, he doesn’t care.
On top of that, Filo’s brother has lived in California so long he’s literally lost his taste for Gumbo. He’s retreated high up in an ancient oak tree until his taste returns.
Throw in a Cajun voodoo queen, annual sugarcane festival, a 10-year reverse-cooked gumbo, and that brand-new blond-haired Baptist wife of the wayward son who hits a home run and you’ve got a big steaming bowl of Gumbo.
And the wayward son’s heritage? It wasn’t lost. Or denied. It was with him all the time. Inside his head in the form of his own Cajun Dance Band. All he had to do was to discover it and learn to listen to it.