History has a way of repeating itself in this atmospheric Southern gothic ghost story.
Seventeen-year-old Lucy Aimes moves with her parents and little brother, T.J., to the Le Ciel Doux plantation in Louisiana for the summer, but she hopes to be back in Chicago by the start of the school year. Aside from her new friend and fellow intern, Chloe Sabourin, Lucy seems destined to spend the summer alone until she meets the mysterious Alexandre. Long haunted by a nightmare of drowning, Lucy soon starts to dream of Armantine Lyon, a photographer’s assistant, and her forbidden romance with the very same Alexandre Jourdain in the antebellum era. A film-and-darkroom photographer, Lucy provides a visually driven narration while remaining separated from other characters until she becomes a key player in Alexandre’s fate. Bouncing between dreams and reality, past and present, Lucy gets swept up in voodoo, human sacrifices and two romances. The mélange of black magic, voodoo and tarot—embodied by the mysticism-spouting, tradition-mixing character Mama Legba (an unacknowledged reference to the loa Papa Legba)—feels ad hoc and uninformed, if not irreligious. However, debut author Maxwell tackles slavery, segregation and racial tensions admirably and offers a time-transcending romance.
A tale of magic, murder and romance in the steamy South. (Paranormal romance. 12-18)