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Elysian Dreams: Volume Two of Crescent City (Volume 2) Paperback – June 30, 2015
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About the Author
Jack Caldwell is an author, amateur historian, professional economic developer, playwright, and like many Cajuns, a darn good cook. Born and raised in the Bayou County of Louisiana, Jack and his wife, Barbara, are Hurricane Katrina victims who now make the Suncoast of Florida their home. Jack is the author of four Jane Austen-themed books. PEMBERLEY RANCH is a retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in Reconstruction Texas. THE THREE COLONELS: JANE AUSTEN’S FIGHTING MEN is a sequel to Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. MR. DARCY CAME TO DINNER and THE COMPANION OF HIS FUTURE LIFE are Pride & Prejudice-flavored farces. In 2015, he released a series of historical novels about New Orleans, titled THE CRESCENT CITY SERIES. THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE begins the series, commemorating the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. He marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with three modern novels: BOURBON STREET NIGHTS, ELYSIAN DREAMS, and RUIN AND RENEWAL. When not writing or traveling with Barbara, Jack attempts to play golf. A devout convert to Roman Catholicism, Jack is married with three grown sons. Jack’s blog postings — The Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles — appear regularly at Austen Variations. Web site: Rambling of a Cajun in Exile: https://cajuncheesehead.com Austen Variations - http://austenvariations.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-Caldwell-author/132047236805555 Twitter: @JCaldwell25
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Top customer reviews
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For those who are interested in this piece of info, this book contains a lot more sexual scenes, not very graphic but explicit, than Book 1. The criminal elements also feature some violence, but these are only a few scenes.
I look forward to read Volume 3!
This story gives us the romantic pairings and various employment positions of the people we met in the first book. We do have our bad guy and the man who opened the door to the college ranks for him so that his drugs could be peddled there. As we read about the pairings we also read of how Elizabeth and William revisit and learn of all that was part of the history that separated them so bitterly five years ago. Mari has become a singer, Emma sees what has been in front of her eyes all along and Elizabeth and William find themselves working together as their two companies join forces.
But we also find the beginning of hurricane season affecting the story...slowly...surely and with lasting affects. It was so apropos for me to be reading this as Hurricane Harvey and then Irma were blasting the states that border the Caribbean.
The series places Jane Austen characters from various of her novels in New Orleans in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Volume 2 picks up five years after the first book and covers the years 2004 and 2005. Like the first, it is centered on the Elizabeth-Darcy romance, with smaller roles for other Austen pairings. Though volume 2 is 384 pages long, there is a sense that it is all just setup for the climactic third volume; the action meanders and the narrative ends very abruptly just as Hurricane Katrina is bearing down on New Orleans. Volume 1 at least had a climactic event that drew the many characters’ threads together, though there were plenty of loose ends. But in volume 2, none of the story lines feels resolved.
As for the treatment of Austen’s characters, the contemporary reinventions of the Mr. Bennet and Lydia Bennet characters should be singled out as being shrewd and successful. More perhaps than any other character in the book, Mr. Bennet felt like an individual as well as a realistic product of his context. Mr. Caldwell is a competent writer, but to my taste sadly addicted to the stereotyping of people and situations. I felt as if I’d read about the rest of the cast many times over many decades in potboilers. In part this is a matter of personal taste; in a police procedural with a male protagonist I’m willing to read about a string of women who have no higher ambition than to cook for their man and surprise and delight him in the bedroom, but in a romance such characters feel out of place to me (and certainly don’t get my juices flowing).
I suspect that this trilogy will come into its own in the third volume, and have enough faith in Mr. Caldwell’s storytelling ability to believe that there will be a satisfying payoff for many or most of the characters. But for me at least, taking 750 pages to get there is a bit too much to ask.
Most recent customer reviews
It's been five years of life moving on with Elizabeth, Marianne and Emma.Read more