The Belles of Desire, Mississipi by M L Bullock finds Jerica Poole, a nurse at a nursing home in Virginia depressed and without purpose. Her child was just killed in a car accident and her husband has run off, choosing drugs over coping with the death of their daughter. Over the course of her time at the nursing home, Jerica develops a relationship with Harper Belle, a fiesty yet loving older woman with no family to speak of. Harper can feel her health starting to decline and asks Jerica a very important favor: to find out what happened to Harper’s older sister, Jeopardy, 75 years ago.
Never in my life have I read a novel whose ending just completely and utterly turned me off in the way that The Belles of Desire, Mississippi did. All the components of a great book were included but due to a rushed conclusion it just didn’t work for me. In fact, there seemed to be a lot of information that just didn’t mesh. Jerica is meant to go to Desire to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Jeopardy Belle however there was no investigation happening at all. Jerica just seemed to dream up all of the answers all the way until the end of the novel when she had a dream in vivid detail as to the final night of Jeopardy’s life. The novel seemed to end at it’s halfway point and I ended up just feeling very unsatisfied.
There seemed to be inclusion of a lot of unnecessary information as well. In the beginning of the novel, Jerica’s husband robs her and then threatens to harm her for informing the police. I understand there had to be some driving force to get Jerica to leave her life in Virginia but then her husband was just never mentioned again. There was also mention of a spirit of a little boy in the house and apparently he was pure evil. Who was this boy? Was he actually a little boy or something demonic? There was no explanation at all.
Although The Belles of Desire, Mississippi is not necessarily a bad book, the amount of holes in the plot made it difficult to get through. This is the first novel I read from this author and am willing to give them another chance on a new story.