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The Feast of All Saints

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The Feast of All Saints [Mass Market Paperback]

Anne Rice
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

Price: $7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

September 12, 1986
In the days before the Civil War, there lived a Louisiana people unique in Southern histroy. Though descended from African slaves, they were also descended from the French and Spanish who enslaved them. Called the Free People of Color, this dazzling historical novel chronicles the lives of four of them--men and women caught perilously between the worlds of master and slave, privilege and oppression, passion and pain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In the days before the Civil War, there lived a Louisiana people unique in Southern histroy. Though descended from African slaves, they were also descended from the French and Spanish who enslaved them. Called the Free People of Color, this dazzling historical novel chronicles the lives of four of them--men and women caught perilously between the worlds of master and slave, privilege and oppression, passion and pain.

About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of nineteen books. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, the poet and painter Stan Rice.

About the Reader
Courtney B. Vance has been nominated for the Tony Award for his performances in Fences and Six Degrees of Separation.  He appeared in the films The Hunt for Red October and Hamburger Hill, and on television in Law and Order and thirtysomething. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345334531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345334534
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering the Gone and Forgotten November 2, 2001
Here - coincidently on this night of All Souls - floating through my brain are thoughts on this Anne Rice novel, which indeed is one of her best.
Before I mention all that this fine novel is, let me state precisely what it is not: It's not a book to be read quickly - for if you are used to reading through things briskly, with the urgent anticipation of the next read always at hand - then this one is sure to frustrate you; It's not an eventful or an adventurous storyline - though A.R. has written quite a few fast-moving tales, this one is slow and meticulous in both movement and detail; There is no absolute line drawn between the hero and adversary in this plot - every character is given a point of view in order to be understood, and elaborated upon until for certain it is understood.
This is a novel unlike most novels. Set in New Orleans before the Civil War, FEAST OF ALL SAINTS is the story of a distinct yet veritably unknown society of people - numbering approximately 18,000 at that time - they were the free people of color. Free people of color were individuals of white and black mixed blood. They were a fragile society made up of those hovering between the established white population and the slaves. The unique and complex city of New Orleans gave this well-educated and interesting group of people a place in which to flourish. In fact, Voodoo queen Marie Laveau was a free person of color. Inarguably, her life has already been explored in works of both fact and fiction. Yet in this well-researched novel, Anne Rice brings to life fictional characters and gives such insight into the lives of these fascinating people as has likely never been seen.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are coming with me....Now. August 18, 2000
By Odilon
Roughly the first two hundred pages of this book deal with a young boy enrolling in a new school. In the process, the book tells us who this boy, Marcel Ste. Marie, is and brings passionately and atmospherically to life his people and their world. It's fascinating. It avoids cheap thrills to unfold like old fashioned literature into a great sensuous flower of a story that doesn't let go. Hints of Rice's customary obsessions are present in this early book but they are very restrained and so gain tantalizing power.
The book deals with the free people of color in 19th century New Orleans, mixed-blood descendants of freed slaves- the proud old families who have established themselves as tradesmen and planters but also the children of white planters' quadroon mistresses. All are oppressed in subtle ways and walk a narrow path of propriety in response. Abandoning their heritage for more racially tolerant Europe is a constant temptation. Even the most refined, educated and prosperous members of the old families cannot vote. A respectable white planter must not be embarrassed by the second family he maintains with his mistress and all assume a mistress's pretty daughter will follow her mother's profession.
Marcel, his sister Marie, his friends Richard and Anna Bella come of age in this environment with poignantly intense youthful enthusiasms, affections and anxieties. Anything their elders cannot face has been kept from them until they reach the age when their world's injustices become unavoidable. They then find themselves at odds with traditional ways that formerly provided meaning and certainty. The story that develops can't be summarized but it builds to such a pitch that when you reach the words in this review's title you might just cheer aloud, as i did. This is historical fiction at its best.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her very best. September 10, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read nearly all of Anne Rice' works - the erotica, the vampire books, the Mayfair witch books, etc. - and this book is second only to Cry to Heaven. Just as in that vivid and lovely book, Rice has chosen a distinct period of history and an obscure group of people, and brought them to nearly palpable life.
Years after reading this book, it's atmosphere and clearly drawn scenes linger in my memory. I had never known of the "gens de couleur libres" of New Orleans until this book. Rice has done an incredible job of bringing the time, place, and people to light. And the book brought such an engrossing human drama along with the knowledge, that it cannot be forgotten.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Feast May 23, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's probably true that most novelists dream of writing that great novel that transcends topical fiction and finds a place among history's great writers. Though I am still working my way through Anne Rice's full body of work, it occurs to me after reading "Feast of All Saints" that this novel seems to aim for that place, deliberately or not.

The novel is a coming of age story for Marcel, a free man of color with a white father and a free black mother. Marcel is 14. Despite his blond hair and blue eyes, he doesn't pass for white like his light-skinned sister Marie. Marcel is hungry for education and a lover of books. His idol is Christophe, a famous writer (and free man of color) recently returned from Paris to open a local school.

Marcel is determined to excel at this school, but his father, the wealthy white Philippe Ferroniare, reneges on his promise to provide this education. Marcel is removed from school, which causes him to test his own determination. His soul-searching is complicated by his friendship with Anna Bella, who loves him deeply, and who he holds great affection for.

Marcel is not prepared to sacrifice his dream, either to his wealthy father's broken promise or to marriage with Anna Bella. Anna Bella instead becomes the mistress of Vincent Danzicourt, the brother of Ferronaire's (white) wife. Their happiness with having a child together eventually takes an ugly turn.

Marie, Marcel's sister, intends to marry Marcel's best friend, Richard. After her father drinks himself to death, leaving the family without inheritance, her mother Cecile decides that Marie must follow in her own footsteps, becoming a mistress to a wealthy white man in order to gain income which will rescue them all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What do You Know About Free People of Color?
This opened up to me a segment of American history of which I'd been totally ignorant. It's a wonderfully written story [no vampires! Read more
Published 8 days ago by Fillmore
5.0 out of 5 stars This a period piece, during the time of slavery ...
This a period piece, during the time of slavery, and this has to be taken into account as you read through this well developed novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Derrick McGregor
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Page Turner!
One of the best books out there about a group of people who are rarely written about--the free people of color in pre-Civil War New Orleans. Loved it!
Published 1 month ago by PW
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Anne's best non-supernatural works, no matter what anyone else...
Sometimes I feel that Anne Rice's non-vampire works don't get enough credit. She's written quite a few gems that have little to nothing to do with the supernatural, this being one... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher C. Teese
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is one of my favorite books by Anne Rice.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book, but by no means an easy read.
First let me say this is the only Ann Rice book I've read. I don't do the supernatural tales usually & of course this book isn't one of those. Yes.... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John A. Brissette
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Nice change from her other books. Loved the history.
Published 8 months ago by Tracie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Delivered as promised in good condition.
Published 8 months ago by Linda Gulledge
5.0 out of 5 stars Served our purpose perfectly
We are not into vampires. We ordered this book because we were getting ready to research our New Orleans roots and my mother said first we have to read this book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by B. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars No vampires
Great book about New Orleans during the 1800s. It's an Ann Rice book without vampires!
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Anne has spent more of her life in California than in New Orleans, but New Orleans is her true home and provides the back drop for many of her famous novels. The French Quarter provided the setting for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. And her ante-bellum house in the Garden District was the fictional home of her imaginary Mayfair Witches.

She is the author of over 30 books, most recently the Toby O'Dare novels Of Love and Evil, and Angel Time; the memoir, Called Out of Darkness;and her two novels about Jesus, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. (Anne regards Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana as her best novel.) ---- Under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure, Anne is the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she is the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Anne publicly broke with organized religion in July of 2010 on moral grounds, affirming her faith in God, but refusing any longer to be called "Christian." The story attracted surprising media attention, with Rice's remarks being quoted in stories all over the world. Anne hopes that her two novels about Jesus will be accepted on their merits by readers and transcend her personal difficulties with religion. "Both my Christ the Lord novels were written with deep conviction and a desire to write the best novels possible about Jesus that were rooted in the bible and in the Christian tradition. I think they are among the best books I've ever been able to write, and I do dream of a day when they are evaluated without any connection to me personally. I continue to get a lot of very favorable feedback on them from believers and non believers. I remain very proud of them."

Anne is very active on her FaceBook Fan Page and has well over a million followers. She answers questions every day on the page, and also posts on a variety of topics, including literature, film, music, politics, religion, and her own writings. Many indie authors follow the page, and Anne welcomes posts that include advice for indie authors. She welcomes discussion there on numerous topics. She frequently asks her readers questions about their response to her work and joins in the discussions prompted by these questions.

Her novel, "The Wolves of Midwinter," a sequel to "The Wolf Gift" and part of a werewolf series set in Northern California in the present time, will be published on October 15, 2013. In these books --- The Wolf Gift Chronicles -- Anne returns to the classic monsters and themes of supernatural literature, similar to those she explored in her Vampire Chronicles, and tales of the Mayfair Witches. Her new "man wolf" hero, Reuben Golding, is a talented young man in his twenties who suddenly discovers himself in possession of werewolf powers that catapult him into the life of a comic book style super hero. How Reuben learns to control what he is, how he discovers others who possess the same mysterious "wolf gift," and how he learns to live with what he has become --- is the main focus of the series. "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a big Christmas book --- a book about Christmas traditions, customs, and the old haunting rituals of Midwinter practiced in Europe and in America. It's about how the werewolves celebrate these rituals, as humans and as werewolves. But the book also carries forward the story of Reuben's interactions with his girl friend, Laura, and with his human family, with particular focus on Reuben's father, Phil, and his brother, Jim. As a big family novel with elements of the supernatural, "The Wolves of Midwinter" has much in common with Anne's earlier book, "The Witching Hour." Among the treats of "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a tragic ghost who appears in the great house at Nideck Point, and other "ageless ones" who add their mystery and history to the unfolding revelations that at times overwhelm Reuben.

In October of 2014, with the publication of "Prince Lestat," Anne returned to the fabled "Brat Prince" of the Vampire Chronicles, catching up with him in present time. This is the first of several books planned focusing on Lestat's new adventures with other members of the Vampire tribe. When the publication of "Prince Lestat" was announced on Christopher Rice's "The Dinner Party Show," a weekly internet radio broadcast, it made headlines in the US and around the world. "Prince Lestat" debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list and ran for nine weeks during the height of the competitive Fall-Winter season, with another week on the extended NYTBSL. ----

Anne's latest novel, "Beauty's Kingdom," is the fourth in her "Sleeping Beauty Erotica Series," and the first to be launched in hardcover. Though the first three novels were published in the 1980's under the pseudonym, A.N. Roquelaure, the name, Anne Rice, was added to the series in the 1990's. About her erotica, Anne has this to say: "I believe in the erotic imagination. I believe men and women have a right to write and read erotic fantasies. My goal with the "Sleeping Beauty" books is to provide the most authentic erotica that I can for those who share BDSM fantasies."

Anne's first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. She continued her saga of the Vampire Lestat in a series of books, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, which have had both great mainstream and cult followings.

Interview with the Vampire was made into a motion picture in 1994, directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. The film became an international success. Anne's novel, Feast of All Saints about the free people of color of ante-bellum New Orleans became a Showtime mini series in 2001 and is available now on dvd. The script for the mini series by John Wilder was a faithful adaptation of the novel.

In 2014, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment optioned "The Vampire Chronicles" for a full reboot of the franchise.

Anne Rice is also the author of other novels, including The Witching Hour, Servant of the Bones, Merrick, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, Violin, and Cry to Heaven. She lives in Palm Desert, California, but misses her home in New Orleans. She hopes to obtain a pied a terre in the French Quarter there some time in the near future.

Anne has this to say of her work: "I have always written about outsiders, about outcasts, about those whom others tend to shun or persecute. And it does seem that I write a lot about their interaction with others like them and their struggle to find some community of their own. The supernatural novel is my favorite way of talking about my reality. I see vampires and witches and ghosts as metaphors for the outsider in each of us, the predator in each of us...the lonely one who must grapple day in and day out with cosmic uncertainty."

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Topic From this Discussion
What new books are being written about the free people of color?
There is one, try Zoe by TA. Ford
Oct 3, 2010 by T. A. Ford |  See all 2 posts
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