RELEASE DATE: October 16th, 2015
BLURB: Born to a spiteful prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district in New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, meaning “of little value,” or, as his mother reminds him, “nothing.” In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a life-changing meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.
As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. While he pursues a law degree, letters from Spence connect David to his hopes for the future. After staggering news at war’s end, David must find a way to move forward. Under the tutelage of his benefactor, David’s career prospers, but specters from Storyville threaten all he’s worked so hard to achieve.
The past holds both pain and love. Will facing it head-on destroy David or give him everything he’s ever dared dream?
This book fractured my heart in so many places and at so many different times, that I’m surprised I came out whole at the end of reading it!
Reading the harsh realities of growing up in a brothel, with the-mother-from-hell, was the first of many tears that I shed, but I have to tell you that there was also light, bright beautiful light, that shine through and made this book so readable.
The Author’s detailing was utterly superb – I lived that time with them, I breathed the air that they breathed and felt their joy and heartache. You may be wondering by now why I keep referring to “them” as this is Picayune/David’s story and it is, but the supporting caste of characters, all added so much depth and substance to this imaginative and compelling storyline (this includes a bitch, who has the audacity to call herself a mother and has now gained entry to my list of “Top Ten Despicable Baddies Of All Time”) that referring in the singular doesn’t cut it.
I really liked Picayune from the moment he was born, he was special, determined and his destiny was never meant to be a prostitute like his mother, his was meant to be much, much more. Growing up in a brothel, pre WW1, in Storyville, New Orleans, is something no child should ever have to endure or witness, but Pic not only endured it, he educated himself – he knew that was the route to take to get him out of there. Unlike his best friend Spence. Spence was quite happy to be a prostitute – why give it away for free, when men will pay for it? I loved the exuberant character the Author gave us in Spence, he had this buoyancy about him that was so endearing, that for me, he became the true star of this book.
Now I don’t want to go down the spoiler route, but Spence has a Client, Emile. Emile is a very successful lawyer and see’s Pic’s potential, but so does Tom Anderson (the unofficial Mayor of Storyville). With Tom’s guidance, Pic becomes “David” and soon after, Emile re-enters David’s life. WW1 has already begun in Europe and America is going to step in too. Nothing will ever be the same again, especially as “lover-not-the-fighter” Spence is called up to serve his country.
That is all the spoiler I can give you, you need to read what happens yourselves, if you are anything like me, this book will remain with you, long after you have finished it. It has to be 5* from me, no other rating would justice to this remarkable book.
Though this is the third book in the series, it is a stand alone, so don’t worry about not reading books 1 and 2 first.