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Behind the columns

By Carine Nadel

Behind The Columns

Ever wonder what life was like in the mid-1850's?  Romance, marriage, travel?  What if you were a young, beautiful and unattached Creole woman in New Orleans?  What kind of choices would you have-or would you have choices at all?  Such is but only part of what takes place in the novel "Behind the Columns".

Author Arlette Marie Gaffrey, a native of this very rich colorful city and of French-Spanish Creole descent let's use know the good, the bad and yes, the ugly parts of that time period in her characters of Desiree Bordeaux and Lance Van Buren.  Desiree lives with her aging grandfather in her run-down plantation, Chene Vue.  Because he has used Desiree's home and funds to satisfy his tendencies with gambling and alcohol, he dies just prior to "giving" her to a cruel and mad man whom she not only fears but despises.  Turns out she has ever reason to do both.

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Thanks to a wealthy and handsome New Yorker, Lance-she finds her life both saved and thrown into complications she could have never fathomed.  Desiree pines for a man who marries another.  She marries Lance, who purchases Chene Vue-who has his own hurts that have yet healed from a prior relationship.

Their lives are pulled in many directions-filled with misunderstandings, lies, betrayals and strange circumstances.  Yet, despite it all and the added forces of time and travel-both souls find not only their hearts but each others.

Gaffrey deftly creates characters that we both want to know more about and let's us see what life in both the Crescent City and the surrounding country was like.  Then just as we want more, the author packs up her characters on an adventurous honeymoon to the cosmopolitan city of New York and the country area surrounding it.  We get a glimpse of how it felt to travel by steamboat and carriage.
Are the lovers truly star-crossed?  Will they find happiness more in one place than the other?  If you want to find out-you'll need to find your own copy of "Behind the Columns" by Arlette Marie Gaffrey and find out.  

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Carine Nadel is a contributing writer for Stop by to read Carine's What's Cooking Column on our home page.

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