Tuesday, 5 August 2008

New Novel

Finished August 3
Babylon Rolling by Amanda Boyden
This is a great vignette of five families who live on Orchid Street in the Uptown area of New Orleans. The novel takes place during a year beginning just before Hurrican Ivan, the year before Katrina.
Ed Flank, Ariel May and their two children, Miles and Ella, have recently moved to New Orleans from Minnesota. Ariel is the new general manager of a hotel in the French Quarter and Ed is a Buddhist stay-at-home dad.
Next door, the Guptas, Indira and Ganesh, with their two children, Elizabeth and William have just moved into the biggest house on the block.
Philmenie Beauregard de Bruges, a white uptown lady and her husband Joe have lived on the block since they were married decades ago. Joe is recovering from cancer.
Sharon and Nate Harris, a black family have also lived on the street for a long time. Living with them are their daughters Klameisha, Debutante and Angelique, along with Klameisha's and Debutante's children. The Harris's youngest son, Daniel aka Fearius, has just come home from juvvy. Their oldest son, Michael aka Muzzle they don't allow home because of his activites.
Cerise and Roy Brown have also lived on the street a long time. Roy has retired now and they are getting used to being grandparents after their only child had a baby.
The families interact and get to know each other in ways they didn't imagine they would over the course of the year the book covers. We see into many of their personal lives, and how they handle difficult circumstances. This is an interesting look at a changing neighbourhood in a diverse city. I liked how the author let you inside the heads of some of the characters, giving you a sense of what made them tick. She really captured the various characters, making them come alive and be individuals.

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