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Bourbon Street Nights: Volume One of Crescent City: Volume 1 Paperback – 28 Apr 2015
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About the Author
Jack Caldwell is an author, amateur historian, professional economic developer, playwright, and like many Cajuns, a darn good cook. Born and raised in the Bayou County of Louisiana, Jack and his wife, Barbara, are Hurricane Katrina victims who now make the Suncoast of Florida their home. Jack is the author of four Jane Austen-themed books. PEMBERLEY RANCH is a retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in Reconstruction Texas. THE THREE COLONELS: JANE AUSTEN’S FIGHTING MEN is a sequel to Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. MR. DARCY CAME TO DINNER and THE COMPANION OF HIS FUTURE LIFE are Pride & Prejudice-flavored farces. In 2015, he released a series of historical novels about New Orleans, titled THE CRESCENT CITY SERIES. THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE begins the series, commemorating the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. He marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with three modern novels: BOURBON STREET NIGHTS, ELYSIAN DREAMS, and RUIN AND RENEWAL. When not writing or traveling with Barbara, Jack attempts to play golf. A devout convert to Roman Catholicism, Jack is married with three grown sons. Jack’s blog postings — The Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles — appear regularly at Austen Variations. Web site: Rambling of a Cajun in Exile: https://cajuncheesehead.com Austen Variations - http://austenvariations.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-Caldwell-author/132047236805555 Twitter: @JCaldwell25
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book encompasses one academic year, with description of college and fraternity life, the evolving friendships and romances between Elizabeth and Jane Boudreaux, Emma Weinberg and Mari Dashwood - and William Darcy, Chuck Bingley, George Katz, John Waguespack, Greg Wickham and Chris Breaux. The carnival season and Mardi Gras customs occupy a large part in the book, colourful description and origin of traditions cleverly provided through the pen of journalist-in-training Elizabeth, but fraternity events, football games, New Orleans food and music provides the background. I am not American and had almost no knowledge of New Orleans culture before reading this book, so I enjoyed this vivid introduction very much.
I have to warn the readers that there is a darker tone in the book about illicit drug use and the tragedy of one character becoming a victim of date rape drug with subsequent sexual assault as well as the tragic murder of some secondary characters. This may be a disturbing theme but is handled with sensitivity. The evil wrought by a sociopath villain, some characters' fundamental weakness, the insensitive, sensation oriented attitude of some representatives of the press and the rash immaturity of even a most beloved heroine is offset by the strong theme of friendship, loyalty, honor and even good old-fashioned chivalry displayed by the characters. Even though the ending (this volume being only Book 1 of the trilogy) does not bring resolution or justice, the described character growth, owning of one's mistakes and learning from them helps the characters as well as the reader to come to terms with the sad events, achieve a somewhat bittersweet ending that has promise of a better future. Blossoming romance of some side characters balance the events further, and the theme of embracing one's family, cultural and religious heritage is another promising thread in the story.
The story may not be suitable to young readers due to the above mentioned dark themes and some moderately explicit sexual scenes, but I do recommend it to readers who like romance, character growth, dramatic conflicts, and the unique outlook of life characteristic to New Orleans.
In reading this series of modern day books Jack's love of his home town and his diligence in his research shine though. This is not a series in which any of the books can be read as stand alone books and although we have characters with the same names as many from canon there are also those whose character and behavior most definitely tell you from whom Jack draws this person. Some are taken from other than P&P. The book description sets the stage.
In 1998 the story evolves around members of, guests of and alumni of the fraternity AI. And I knew from reading excerpts on a blog that there is a date rape that occurs. Jack does not give any gory details describing the act but you know it is coming and you know it has occurred. So it is with other romantic encounters between the characters...no graphic details. This heinous crime becomes the "misunderstanding" that separates William and Elizabeth. She accuses him of covering it up, the event is told and printed under her name in a local paper and the university takes action against the fraternity. Both parties have experienced the beginning of not only a friendship but romantic inclinations but that is all over. There is no proof and some individuals thought to be involved have alibis.
Chuck Bingley is courting Emma who decides to make a change in her dating habits due to the religious pressures from her father. Other couples pair up, drug usage makes the scene, we have the Police Department unable to catch their man and the history of New Orleans laid out for those who have not had that subject in their history class. (For me it was Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie in high school.)
I have enjoyed Jack's other books and have meant to read these for some time. The various characters have employment and work and home locations which allow Jack to build the story to the very end and bring it all together....not that they end up living in a close knit community after the trials and tribulations Jack brings to our attention in his writing.
It is the first book in the Crescent city trilogy.
Caldwell has brought new life to characters from most of Jane Austen's books and transferred them to the college society of New Orleans.
Main character Elizabeth is roommate with Marianne who is a friend of Emma. Story evolves mainly around the three girls, their friends and boyfriends. Captivating from the first to the last page as they battle betrayal, heartache and conflicting emotions, I could not put it down...
Heartily recommend this book!