When Cecile Boudreaux and husband, Armand, adopt six-year-old Natalia from Russia, they think their dreams of being a whole family are complete. But things don’t go exactly as planned. Natalia has her own agenda to get back to her brother, Nikolai no matter what. When things reach a breaking point, unthinkable decisions have to be made. It will take love and loss before everyone recognizes the many faces of family.
Opening Scene: If it weren’t for the voodoo curse, she’d be a terrific mother. Cecile Lafayette Boudreaux stroked the Gris-Gris amulet around her neck with one hand, and the mound around her middle with the other. We’ll get through this, Junior, don’t worry. Born in the Louisiana bayou, she wasn’t supposed to scare easily. The weatherman had drawn spaghetti lines that snaked through the Gulf of Mexico, all heading straight toward the mouth of the Mississippi. They named her Katrina. The die-hards planned hurricane parties. Fire up the outdoor cooker; them mud bugs were waiting for cayenne pepper, hot sauce and ‘taters. Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll.) Mayor Ray Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation. Governor Blanco told anyone refusing to leave to write their names and social security number on their arms in magic marker so they could identify the bodies.
Cecile told herself that she’d be safe in their sturdy home in Saint Bernard Parish. Armand had boarded the house so not a sliver of daylight peeked through the plywood sheets. This wasn’t the first hurricane in her thirty years, and it wouldn’t be the last. No matter the warnings, she couldn’t leave without her husband, who had responsibilities as drilling manager for the Murphy Oil Refinery.
She opened the door and stared at ominous dark clouds and things that had no business being airborne. Thousands of mosquito hawks (dragonflies) flew in a frenzy, forming a gossamer purple and green funnel. It’s coming . . .