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Book Review – The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice

 

Synopsis: Before the Civil War, there lived in Louisiana, people unique in Southern history. For though they were descended from African slaves, they were also descended from the French and Spanish who enslaved them. In this dazzling historical novel, Anne Rice chronicles four of these so-called Free People of Color–men and women caught perilously between the worlds of master and slave, privilege and oppression, passion and pain.

 

First Line: “One morning in New Orleans, in that part of the Rue Ste. Anne before it crosses Conde & becomes the lower boundary of the Place d’Armes, a young boy who had been running full tilt down the middle of the street stopped suddenly, his chest heaving, & began to deliberately & obviously follow a tall woman.”

Random Quote: “… there is some point where the spiritual act creates a material object & that object gets away from it & is merely material again for those around it. It does not continue to be spiritual … chairs, tables, books, what’s inside books. But if ever there was something that is obviously supposed to remain spiritual it’s the content of books.”

Review: I read this book when it first came out when I was 16 & loved it. I’ve re-read it periodically & still love it (I think this makes my fourth read). The good thing a
About re-reading books is all the different perspectives you bring & the new things you notice because you’ve grown & changed.

When I was 16 I was taken with the romanticism of the book – the free people of color, the world of Antebellum New Orleans, the various love stories – what teenager wouldn’t swoon? At this point I still enjoy the romanticism, but the history means even more &, most of all, I love the search for identity & the love of books & learning that is evident throughout this story.

This is not Anne Rice writing poorly (or otherwise) about paranormal things. This is Anne Rice writing well about history. I’ve always thought she wrote 4 really good books: this one, plus Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, & Cry to Heaven. At some point she just started turning out page after page of garbage & I gave up on her. I return to this book often, though. Its characters & its sense of place & time draw me into its world & make me reluctant to leave. This is a good book
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