Gabriel is a poor, beautiful Cajun living in a Louisiana swamp. She would rather be around the plants and animals that be around people. Shortly before her graduation, Octavious Tate, the owner of the local cannery, invades her private pond and rapes her. Furious, her father, Jack, drags her to Octavious' wife and demands compensation because Gabriel is pregnant; her chances of making a good marriage are now ruined. However, Octavious' wife, Gladys, decides that Gabriel should secretly move into the mansion with them. Gladys will pretend to the world that she's the one who is having her husband's baby. When the baby is born, they will adopt it, Gabriel will return home, and hopefully get on with her life. The Tates' will also pay Gabriel's father off. Jack gleefully agrees, and Gabriel sees that this is the only way out.
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Gabriel gives birth to a baby boy named Paul and reluctantly gives him up. Gabriel is heartbroken, and becomes more of a recluse than ever before. Jack causes havoc in the family by gambling their money away and demanding more money from the Tates. He even tries to marry Gabriel off to a sexual offender, and the son of a friend. When Gabriel finally meets the love of her life, she becomes pregnant again. Once more Jack makes arrangements to sell her baby.
The review of this Book prepared by Marie Morris