Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau Paperback – Jan 15 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
NEA Fiction Award winner Rhodes's first novel brings to life a legendary 19th-century voodoo priestess.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In this first novel, which is based on the life of a 19th-century voodooist, Rhodes attempts to place her subject within a feminist context. Brought to New Orleans from the bayou by her grandmother, a former slave, the fictional Marie is persuaded to marry Jacques, a black sailor, in order to escape her mother's fate. Marie's mother was a voodoo queen who was killed because white people feared her powers. Marie leaves Jacques and falls under the spell of John, a voodoo doctor who beats her and exploits her ability to influence crowds. When Marie recognizes and accepts her powerful voodoo heritage, she is able to free herself from John. While Rhodes effectively captures the erotic and racist climate of 19th-century New Orleans, her plot is overwritten and occasionally repetitive.
- Harriet Gottfried, NYPL
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Though the book may appear daunting in length, once I opened up the book, Rhodes weaved a spell on me from start to finish by making me wonder where the history ended and where the fiction began in this book. There are so many mysteries surrounding Marie Laveau's life that I was pleased to have a few questions answered and simultaneously be schooled on some of the history of the religion brought over from the African American homeland. Was/is voodoo just a way for blacks to make money by praying on the hopes of those who believed in voodoo's "dark powers" during a time period when job opportunities were scarce for freed blacks in the late 19th century? Exactly how long did Marie live? These were just a few of the questions that I wanted answered when I picked up this book ...Read more ›
This book did however spark in me an interest in the history of voodoo in Haiti and New Orleans, but I think I would prefer to read something a little less fictional and sensationlized next time.
That said, there are several reasons why I believe this book deserves 5 stars. First, the vivid imagery used so eloquently by Ms. Rhodes harkens back to the days of old when ALL history was oral history and story-telling was an art. What she has given us is a passionate tale of female courage in the face of injustice, triumph, tragedy, adventure, mystery and faith -- all packaged in a format that is superbly written and masterfully structured.
In my opinion, with VOODOO DREAMS, Jewell Parker Rhodes shines where most of the current best-selling authors fail. She leaves you begging for more, NOT wishing you'd spent your money at Starbucks.
Most recent customer reviews
This is wonderfully written novel. Rhodes did a terrific job of dramatizing the legacy of this remarkable woman. Her characters come to life with each page the reader turns. Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2001 by Candace
While reading this wonderfully written novel, I found myself having dreams about Marie Laveau. Rhodes did such a terrific job of dramatizing the legacy of this remarkable woman, I... Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2001 by Candace
My family originated from lousiana and we always heard about her
and when I read the book it really opened my eyes to her.
This is an amazing and superbly written book. I stayed up most of the night to finish reading it; I literally could not put it down. Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2001
I wish that had been included in the title...I would have been much less disappointed when I got all the way through this book thinking this was based on real events until I got to... Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2001 by Noelle W Dempsey
Jewell Parker Rhodes, is an excellent writer. I really enjoyed reading about the Marie(s) (Grandmother, daughter and granddaughter). I look forward to reading more of Ms. Read morePublished on March 10 2001 by Lauretta
I thought it was a great book. I couldn't put it down. I know it is fiction but it really put Marie into a new light as well as Voodoo.Published on Oct. 17 2000
I read this book many years ago and it is still alive in me.I disagree with other reviewers who criticize the fact that the book is not the "true" Marie Laveau. Read morePublished on May 31 2000