I purchased The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell when I was in Texas in May. I thought it looked like a good summer chick-lit read. I finally got around to reading it this week and was surprised to find that it was more than just chick-lit. There was an amazing message that even in today’s world needs to be remembered.
Bad Behavior is a period piece set in Louisiana in 1920. Prohibition was at its height, women had just been given the right to vote, and the Klu Klux Klan was starting to take hold of not only the South, but also the entire country. In the middle of all this is born-before-her-time Belle Cantrell. A recent widow and new part owner of the largest farm in Gentry, Louisiana, Belle is a huge advocate of the woman suffrage cause and is not afraid to speak her mind on most topics; much to the dismay of the Southern Genteel folk.
While the book is fun and sassy and, at times, down right sexy, it also reminds you of how intolerance was widely accepted in our country and that speaking out against said intolerance caused people to fear for their lives to the point to where many just kept quiet. “It’s not our fight,” was just one of the responses Belle received while trying to help stop an attack on her friend. With some of the same intolerances seeping into our society today, this book struck quite a chord with me. And all while reading it, my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote replayed in the back of my mind. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”