Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans by Rosalyn Story
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first heard of this book through one of the blogs I read (I forget which). At the time, it seemed the book wasn’t getting the attention it deserved even after being on the Essence book list. The publisher offered a free PDF download from their website during Black History month. (Did somebody say free?) After I downloaded it, I decided I wouldn’t have to fortitude and vision (old eyes) to sit at my PC and read a book. I have experimented with reading PDF’s on my Kindle and that is not something I would try for a 300-page novel. So I jumped on Amazon to see what the Kindle book might cost, and it was FREE. The best of my reading world, free and on Kindle. Today the price is back at $9.69 for the Kindle version.
The extended title is “A Novel of New Orleans.” I suppose that alone might keep some people away. We watched the Katrina flood pictures for weeks, live from CNN. As much as we cried, sent money, sent clothes, prayed, cried some more, railed at President Bush, even agreed with Kanye West, eventually we were all emotionally drained by the Katrina experience. Rather selfish of us when we had friends still living in FEMA trailers five years later. Wading Home needed to simmer a while to bring out the savor of a story woven around the tragedies of New Orleans. I put off reading it until my latest cruise and I had already finished three other books. Shame on me.
Rosalyn Story has given us the most beautifully lyrical story I have read in a long time. Her vivid descriptions of “Home,” the people living through the tragedy, the deep traditions, the old country houses steeped in love, the wildflowers and sounds of insects and creek splashing, all enrich the story of family. The way she stacks simile on top of metaphor is like having my arms filled with presents wrapped with frosted paper and bows. I was so carried away with the language that I reached the point of being filled with yet another present. I had to laugh out loud when I read “this had been the step-ball-change, one routine in the detailed choreography of their romance.” If had not had a friend who teaches tap-dancing, I would have missed that one, and I wondered how many other stunning metaphors I had missed before that one.
Beyond the writing, it’s a beautiful story. We all want a happy ending for New Orleans, so I’ll forgive that everything falls so neatly into place at the end. I give it 5 stars.
View all my reviews