I love books about the south and southern women. There’s something about their strong-willed personalities and their slow, often scandalous way of life, that makes them so intruiging. They can shoot a gun, and bake an pecan pie all in the same afternoon. The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell and Despres’ earleir success, The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc are two of my all-time favorite southern stories.
The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell follows the title character throughout her early adult life in deep southern Louisiana during the 1920s. Belle is a sharp-talking suffragette, who cares more about womens rights and having a good time, than what people in her small community will think about her.
The book opens with the revalation that Belle has killed her husband. The rest of the story follows this scandal, and keeps getting juicier. Belle gets wrapped up in “bad behavior” such as an affair, run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan, and all together “unladylike” antics.
Belle Cantrell becomes that grandmother to Sissy, Despres’ main character in The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc which is equally as wonderful, and a must-read after the funny, empowering Belle.