Monday 23 April 2012


I found out about this book thanks to a writer friend on mine, one whose taste I respect without reservation.  He'd picked it as one of his top 5 recommendations of last year, so I had to have a copy.

I'm delighted that I ended up with one.

The core of the book is the novella 'Rampart And Toulouse'.

Rampart and Toulouse it the corner at which a fine old building stands.  It holds the charm of its age and is showing signs of wear, a little like a number of its inhabitants. 

Into the building moves a young lady, finding the place appealing to her finer instincts as well as to her purse.

Once there, she mingles within the mini-Bohemia in which she finds herself and takes the next step of her journey into growing up.

The story meanders from one new experience to the next, gentle and touching like a warm spring sun.

Not that it's all light. 

There's a beautiful photograph on the cover of the book, splendid in its black and white print and in it you can see many aspects of the story which I enjoyed - the subtlety and the clever shades and contrasts that are present throughout and the use of space as an impliment.

The protagonist, Vivienne, is a painter and there is a sense that the author of this book has neatly and carefully stroked all the words onto the page with a careful eye.

I really enjoyed the play between the characters, the sense of nostalgia and of hope and the three-dimensional creation of a New Orleans I'm now even more keen to visit than ever.

It's not one for lovers of hard, fast action, but for anyone who enjoys the shifts that happen in a life when the person isn't looking, this might well be for you.  If in doubt, give it a try.  After all, you've nothing to lose, have you?

1 comment:

  1. That one will creep right into yourr head and heart and stay there for a very long time, Nigel. The photos reflect the stories perfectly. Kristin is a double barrelled whangdoozer of an artist isn't she? Cool review, mate. Very cool indeed.