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Bourbon Street Nights

Volume One of Crescent City
Narrated by: Melissa Kay Benson
Series: Crescent City, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Volume one of the Crescent City trilogy.

The year is 1998. This story is about three friends: Elizabeth, a Cajun from the swamps; Emma, an uptown Jew, and Marianne, a Mississippi girl. These ladies will have a year that will change their lives. They will meet the men who love them and the men who will break their hearts. It will be a time of love and friendship, trials and tribulations, tragedy and murder.

But it is also about a fourth lady, one that is known by many names. Isle d'Orleans. The Paris of the Americas. Queen City of the South. The City That Care Forgot. Birthplace of Jazz. The Big Easy. Crescent City. New Orleans - what she was, and what she may be again.

©2005 Jack Caldwell (P)2019 Jack Caldwell

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very Interesting

This is a very interesting story. I would not say that this is a modern day retelling or modern day vagary. I would say that this is a WONDERFUL story with Jane Austen character names and influences set in modern day Louisiana. It does have have Austen characters from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Emma and Persuasion in the storyline.

I love cliffhangers but I truly hope that book 2 and 3 are released on Audible soon.
The narration was great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Romance and betrayal, Jane Austen and New Orleans

This book, while it commemorates life in New Orleans at the end of the 20th century, is also a tribute to Jane Austen. The three heroines, their heroes and the villains are modeled after Jane Austen characters from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma (Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park allusions are also present). The connection is loose so you don't need to worry about a forced adaptation of those classical romances into modern times or a servile following of Jane Austen's plot lines, but it' easy to see the allusions, even though several characters' names are changed to fit their ethnicities in colourful New Orleans.
The book encompasses one academic year, with description of college and fraternity life, the evolving friendships and romances between Elizabeth and Jane Boudreaux, Emma Weinberg and Mari Dashwood - and William Darcy, Chuck Bingley, George Katz, John Waguespack, Greg Wickham and Chris Breaux. The carnival season and Mardi Gras customs occupy a large part in the book, colourful description and origin of traditions cleverly provided through the pen of journalist-in-training Elizabeth, but fraternity events, football games, New Orleans food and music provides the background. I am not American and had almost no knowledge of New Orleans culture before reading this book, so I enjoyed this vivid introduction very much.
I have to warn the readers that there is a darker tone in the book about illicit drug use and the tragedy of one character becoming a victim of date rape drug with subsequent sexual assault as well as the tragic murder of some secondary characters. This may be a disturbing theme but is handled with sensitivity. The evil wrought by a sociopath villain, some characters' fundamental weakness, the insensitive, sensation oriented attitude of some representatives of the press and the rash immaturity of even a most beloved heroine is offset by the strong theme of friendship, loyalty, honor and even good old-fashioned chivalry displayed by the characters. Even though the ending (this volume being only Book 1 of the trilogy) does not bring resolution or justice, the described character growth, owning of one's mistakes and learning from them helps the characters as well as the reader to come to terms with the sad events, achieve a somewhat bittersweet ending that has promise of a better future. Blossoming romance of some side characters balance the events further, and the theme of embracing one's family, cultural and religious heritage is another promising thread in the story.
The story may not be suitable to young readers due to the above mentioned dark themes and some moderately explicit sexual scenes, but I do recommend it to readers who like romance, character growth, dramatic conflicts, and the unique outlook of life characteristic to New Orleans.
The superb narration brings the story to life, provides the caracters with their unique voice, enhances the subtle emotions, and provides a great listening experience.

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Cant wait....

I cant wait to listen to the next book. Got to know the characters by their voices. This book took turns I could not guess which was great.

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An interesting adaptation

When I first picked up this book I must have missed that it was a Jane Austin adaptation. So figuring that out was a fun task for me as a reader. In large part I found the plot to be enjoyable, and the narrator’s voices and accents helped me keep the characters straight in my head (there were many!). My largest qualm was with the length of then “New Orleans history interludes” throughout the book. As a New Orleans native I found these a bit laborious, but I also recognize as a native I may not be the intended audience.

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  • SandyH
  • El Paso, TX, United States
  • 06-19-19

Great story

I have read this series of stories when the books first came out, but being able to hear them gave me a whole new perspective. The way that history of Louisiana is woven in with the background and lives of the characters is wonderful. I really, really, really hope that books 2 and 3 will be coming soon!!