**** Older South Tradition, Cruelty, and Mystery Review by Rox Burkey
Author Rosemary Poole-Carter plunges listeners into the south ten years post-Civil War South in New Orleans. The story comes from the perspective of Lenore James. Descriptions of the setting illustrate the genteel constraints, corruption, racism, and culture of the era.
An opinionated and independent woman, Lenore survived three husbands and grown children living their own lives. She lives in a lavish mansion with her housekeeper and friend Ella. When her younger brother, Gilbert, lost his wife and infant child at birth, Lenore convinces him to move to New Orleans to restart his life.
Gilbert Crew secured a position as a doctor for the city’s poorer residents and surrounding countryside. He provides patient care, often for those without funds that the prominent established doctor tosses his way. One such call took him to the home of Victor and Charlotte Eden to tend to their small son. Gilbert develops an unrequited infatuation from this one meeting with Charlotte and silently hopes for more.
There are no issues with the quality of the performance by Katherine Parr. The narration is flawless from a voice perspective, with well-timed inflections that add to the drama. For some listeners, the pace may be considered slow. However, the speed and tempo align with the story’s historical period.
I recommend this story to those who like well-researched Southern Gothic. Readers and listeners will live life during the post-Civil War. I’ve visited this part of Louisiana on multiple occasions, and the descriptions mapped to my experiences, enriching my enjoyment.
About the Author
Rosemary Poole-Carter explores an uneasy past in her novels Only Charlotte, Women of Magdalene, What Remains, and Juliette Ascending, all set in the post-Civil War South, and her plays, including The Familiar and The Little Death.
Fascinated by history, mystery, and the arts, she is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Mystery Writers of America, and the Dramatists Guild of America.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she was a long-time resident of Houston, where she practiced her devotion to reading and writing with students of a college system. She now lives and writes by the Eno River in Durham, North Carolina.
About the Narrator Katherine Parr provided a great performance with the southern style.