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East of Orleans (Series One) by [Irvin, Renee']
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East of Orleans (Series One) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Length: 362 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Not quite one year old, busy playing amongst the pots & pans in the kitchen, Renee' Stargel Irvin's mother asked her what she was doing. "Using my imagination, Mommy!" she replied. And she has been ever since. "East of Orleans," her first published novel, was created through a mélange of memories brought to life, characters born out of imagination, and Renee's desire to write herself to another place, at another time. There was no better place than where her grandmother grew up as a child, and her stories unfolded. That wonderful place was on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, in a little community known as Shakerag, Georgia. Like Renee's life itself--deep, rich, adventuresome, and sometimes dark, her debut novel "East of Orleans" is a "real" southern story, the kind that Renee' feels is best told by one of their own, a bona fide Southerner. Renee' holds a degree in Legal Studies, and studied English & Communications at Oglethorpe University. She also studied at the "Harriett Austin Creative Writing Conference," offered by the University of Georgia, and taught under the skilled eye of Dr. Charles Conner. Renee' currently lives not far from Shakerag with her college-age twins, son Ryan, and her charismatic much-loved 12 year-old Pekingese, Pookie. She is currently hard at work on her next novel, and one thing is a certainty: It will evolve around layered characters, mystery, romance, and life and death centered on the only stage Renee' knows as home, the deep South.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2723 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Create Space (January 18, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 18, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ann K. Fisher on February 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the deep South of the 1880's, two young women, Isabella McCoy, a beautiful white girl from rural Georgia and Jacqueline Rousseau, a sultry, black French Creole who works in the finest bordello in New Orleans, are on separate paths in their unhappy lives. This epic novel takes us into their world, which is filled with love, lust, betrayal, rape, murder, wealth, greed, power and corruption. There are surprises at every turn as each woman copes with the cards life has dealt her. And then their paths converge when they burn the cotton fields of the man one is married to and both hate. In one of the most dramatic scenes ever written, the two women save the black sharecroppers' wives and their children from horrible slave conditions and their terrible fate. Isabella and Jacqueline's friendship is literally forged in fire and each must now fulfill her destiny.
Renee Irvin takes the reader on an unforgettable journey back to another time and place and into the hearts and minds of two remarkable women. She has seamlessly woven the numerous characters and story elements to create a beautifully detailed tapestry of hope borne of heartbreak and of strength borne of family love. An absolutely wonderful read from cover to cover.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the depth of the characters. There was no clean line between good and bad with any of the characters. Each character had a flaws that with out the back story to each, I could have easily labeled as "hated".

I think that Julius was a different man to each of his loves. He seemed to be his true self with Jacqueline but could not marry her. With Isabella, Julius was what was expected.

I think that Isabella's character came off as weak because she was less of a fighter than Jacqueline. But with out Isabella I don't think Jacqueline's character would have had a softer side.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a character driven story, which contributes to the pacing of the novel. There's no immediate, unresolvable problem for the main characters to solve in the very first pages. Instead, as the characters are drawn and developed, they come in contact with each other and their conflicts and common interests define the story progression.

Two main characters, Isabella McCoy, a young Southern girl who grew up on a plantation in Georgia and Jacqueline Rousseau, a gorgeous French Creole young courtesan, cannot be more different in the beginning of the novel. Isabella is somewhat sheltered in her upbringing and naïve; when her father is murdered and the bank is about to foreclose on the family's plantation, her main reaction is simply that of a disbelief, she does not seem to accept the reality of the situation. Jacqueline, on the other hand, comes through in the beginning as a world-weary despite her young age; she almost literally robs her clients blind. However, as the novel develops, Isabella starts to grow up - think for herself, make her own choices in life, still faltering as she goes, however. In Jacqueline, on the other hand, we can see more of that girlish naivete than when she was originally introduced.

The character of Jules McGinnis comes through as almost likable at times, despite his appearances. Perhaps it's just my perception but it seems like he does care for both women in his own way.

The novel is very atmospheric, with nicely sketched out descriptions and secondary characters contributing to the sense of the place and the period. The feeling of "Southern charm" is tempered with the realities of the American South in the late 1800 without pulling too many punches. There are some very dramatic scenes, and a few of them are taken to almost cinematic quality - the "Cotton Fields Burning" scene is one of my favorites.

I would recommend this novel to a patient reader who prefers stories with paced character development.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am truly thankful for Amazon providing free books to Kindle users. However, I would have paid for this book. I found the book incredibly easy to read and very interesting. It was well written. I had read half of it in one day. I kept turning the pages. I wanted to know more about Isabella McCoy (the wife) and Jacqueline Rousseau (the mistress).

As I read, I became engrossed in not only the back stories of these two women but also the men in their life. In some ways, I wanted Isabella to somehow fall in for Jules ( her husband) while at the same time I was hoping that Tom (her childhood sweetheart) would reenter her life. With Jacqueline, I could see how she would love Jules but I wanted her to live a happy life with Patrick. I was really torn as to which direction I wanted these women's lives should take.

Side note: I am not sure if the printed version of the book had the typing errors like the Kindle version. I read the Kindle version. I do not consider myself to be an editor by no means. Lord knows that I have paid an editor to work on graduate papers. I did notice that in the Kindle version, some of the dialog were missing open quotation marks which made the dialog slightly had to follow which character said what to whom. Also there were problems where a comma was substitute for apostrophe ( ie., woman,s). It could a matter of the file conversion. I have experienced similar problems changing a Word document to a Adobe PDF file.
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Format: Kindle Edition
East of Orleans is a fabulous story about the south, during a period of time that is truly gone with the wind. It is a captivating account of the ole south. Not since Margaret Mitchel wrote, "Gone With the Wind" have I read a more exciting story of the south, with language and furnishings true to period. The author, Renee Irvin, paints a beautiful picture with words. Gosh, I felt I was right there on each page. Now I am waiting on the movie. I cannot wait to read her next book. I hope there's a sequel....
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