This book contains all the popular elements of an exciting read: power, sex, greed, land grabs, family secrets, and the mystique of the cultures of New Orleans, (Creole, elite, and Middle class) with a dash of church dispute thrown in. Oh yes, and sex.
The book’s back blurb describes our young hero, Robin Christopher, as “a flawed young lawyer who spends too much time stoking his already swollen libido.” I found the graphic descriptions of Robin’s bed adventures easy to overlook because the story is involved and interesting. If, like me, you do not enjoy a dose of graphic sex with your adventure, you can skip these pages as they come up. What is more difficult to overlook, are the various point-of-view changes in the narration. That along with numerous flashbacks interrupted the action and were a bit confusing for me.
On the positive side of the ledger are the intricacies of the story itself and the author’s descriptions of New Orleans (late 1960s) life at all social levels. Indeed the city herself, mansions in the Garden District to bordellos in Storyville, all play a role. The details of the battles for the nun’s dowry (her gift to the Mother House when she joins the convent) the interests of various of Robin’s girlfriends, squabbles among the elite and the discovery of deadly family secrets are cleverly laid out, each intricacy pushing the plot ahead a bit more.
I found myself often torn between feeling sorry for Robin and disliking him even as I learn more about his family difficulties. Ariadne, his one true love, chooses to become a nun instead of continuing her relationship with him. Among the other women in the book, conquests all, they swoon for Robin, pine for him, some even hope for more in their relationship with him. The convent and the Catholic Church are also “characters” of importance though not very likeable. Ariadne’s family falls into the unlikeable but well-drawn category as well.
The tale is complex but all the pieces work well together. Just when I thought I had figured out the story, Thompson came at me with a surprise, making this a puzzle box of a book that many will enjoy trying to solve along with characters. A lawyer for more than 40 years, Thompson is at his best when describing the legal entanglements and in the descriptions of the climactic courtroom scene.
You can learn more about Thompson and his books by visiting his website, www.mindsonshelves.com. Author Alan Thompson and his wife live in Georgetown.
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Title | The Nun’s Dowry
Author | Alan Thompson
Publisher | W&B Publishers
Cost | $17.99 paper, $2.99 Kindle