In this novel, we are introduced to the 1840's world of free people of mixed racial heritage in New Orleans. The main character is Marcel, a teen whose father is a rich white planter and whose mother is his mixed race mistress. Marcel begins to have trouble in school and makes the acquaintance of a local hero, Christophe, who has just returned from Paris and has had several books and articles published. A taboo relationship develops between Marcel and Christophe's mother. There is a strong attraction between Christophe and Marcel also, which is alluded to throughout the book. Marcel is struggling to come to terms with the racial injustice of his world and finally betrayal by his father. There are lots of other characters and plot lines throughout, including Marcels sister and his boyhood friend Anna Bella. Glimpses of the slave trade, as seen from various different perspectives adds interest also.
The review of this Book prepared by Kim Mills
Kenney on 3/24/2015 1:31:44 AM says: Rice tends to indulge in extravagant description; there are also subplots, entangled with said description. Plot did not get going until page 100. (Many critics put off by this, did not finish.) Had she used more economy of language (novel almost 600 pages) she might have supplied the question of whether protagonist Marcel fulfills his dream of a career & if he marries his childhood friend, another, or takes a male lover. Instead, the story ends idyllically in the air.