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Ruin and Renewal: Volume Three of Crescent City (Volume 3) Paperback – September 1, 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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Jack makes this a more personal story as we read of how our characters decide to stay put, go help or evacuate. Elizabeth and Darcy, not yet married, have his estate which has been storm proofed, Chuck decides to stay to help protect his home which is dear to him but his pregnant wife, his daughter and dog to off to stay with his mother. Carrie (Caroline) is also there with her son and dog and Mama Catherine is not too happy with it all - hates the dogs. (She reminds one of Lady Catherine here.) Several parties seal their fate thinking that by staying they can loot or find ways to influence their futures. One doctor finds himself working with little sleep and then still having to evacuate the hospital. The Guardsmen and Police are called out and that has echoes of all we read about back when. And as a madman begins shooting at a copter justice is served...finally.
As the story comes to an end we learn through our connections to various characters that the hurricane and its aftereffects caused permanent changes in most lives. There were those who had to move out due to the loss of homes and/or due to the loss of employment. And we see it all repeated as Harvey and Irma are recent events in the history along our southern coast line.
In this third instalment, the count down towards hurricane Katrina has begun. The city is bracing herself for the onslaught with evacuation and other security measures.
When it is over, none of Caldwell's characters will be unscathed and some will not survive. It was an emotional read... Not only by the torment the characters went through but the mismanagement of the catastrophe itself. Heads did roll afterwards but not necessarily the most deserving ones. It was an eye opener for me who watched this unfold, safely, from across the pond.
The retelling was so intens that I could easily feel the agony.
The rebuilding of the city and the lives and homes that followed was equally heart-wrenching.
Love and friendship will prevail though and it is lovely to read about the community spirit that arises from such devastation.
There are a lot of aspects to this trilogy that I have not mentioned. Like the religious, journalism, race issues and many more but I will only urge you to read it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
And lastly, to New Orleans, I hope to meet you in person some day.
Heartily recommend this book!
The day of reckoning has landed and her name is Katrina.
No words can fully describe the horror of what the citizens of New Orleans faced as Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005. However, from the start of this volume to the end, I was riveted and anxious. The tension was palpable as the countdown until land fall was noted. I was invested in these characters and their lives, but I also knew they were only a vehicle to showing the carnage that Katrina wrought on the lives of those who survived and died in this catastrophe. It also provided insight into the political and bureaucratic nightmare of the time...only 12 years ago...will they ever learn?
Each of our characters lost a piece of themselves in this nightmare...some more than others. How they pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and those around them, shows how resilient the human spirit is.
How the city comes together after one year is also a testament to that. 'Who Dat Nation!'
Bravo and thank you Mr. Caldwell.