Sultry Days of Blood and Angels by Tess Nottebohm Summary
For those of us who never quite grasped the tragic depth of Hurricane Katrinas 2005 inundation of New Orleans, Tess Nottebohms new novel, Sultry Days of Blood and Angels, is a prose poem reminding us how fragile, beautiful, tragic, erotic and utterly sui generis was and is the Crescent City. Sultry Days is confected from the bitter-sweet urban archeology of a place that for three-hundred years has lived a few frightening meters of water away from extinction and lived, therefore, that much closer to the edge. It is that rich boundary teeming with life, sex, voodoo and death and the inescapable tie to Creole customs and cuisine that is an irreducible part of the richness of 19th Century New Orleans so convincingly captured and elegantly served up in Tess Nottebohms Sultry Days of Blood and Angels. ~ Richard Rapaport, author, journalist, and visiting Scholar University of California Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Sultry Days of Blood and Angels is a lush journey into history, identity, and passion. The threadbare pages of an old man's antique journal burst with a Pandora's Box of deep-bayou intriguespurring a modern young adventuress to seek her own destiny through the journal's account of three wildly compelling female characters. Author Tess Nottebohm brings to vibrant life the mansions and back roads of old New Orleans with exhilaration and gutsy sensuality. Each bodice-ripping, mind-bending escapade is injected with a raw, unconventional twist on relationships, self-awareness, and the elusive nature of time itself. Nottebohm's satisfied readers will end up scouring flea markets everywhere for lace cravats, muslin bloomers, and dusty Cajun talismans! ~ Stephanie JT Russell, author, One Flash of Lightning: A Samurai Path for Living the Moment Disillusioned with the lack of passion, enchantment, and beauty in the modern world, Annette Emery stumbles onto the ornate city of New Orleans. Under its powerful seduction, and through a chance encounter with a book merchant, she follows clues that lead her to an abandoned cabin in the bayou, where she finds the journal of a fabled recluse, Wellsworth Worthington. Written in 1903, and dating back to events as early as 1822, the complex story that unfolds ultimately brings Annette to her own surprising connection to its notorious characters. Through Wellsworths bewitched account of the past, we meet two free-spirited young women: Divinity, daughter of slave and master, and Priscilla, of the tormented Lefeuvre family. Healers and scholars, or witches and whores, according to what rumors are believed, their antics are spied upon by Wellsworth, who makes himself the ladies devoted houseman after finding Divinity naked and unconscious in the bayou. He resides at their mansion, Chez Mystiphi, until its temptations become his undoing. Part mystery, part adult fairy tale, Sultry Days of Blood and Angels is an intricately woven, offbeat tale of obsession, betrayal, and murder, that touches on Vampire lore, Voodoo and Slavery; raising questions about what it means to be truly free. The reader may well be seduced by this books sultry, subversive heart, and swept away by its poetic eroticism, into an exploration of what we have unwittingly lost, and what we might choose to reclaim, from our past. But most of all, it is a dream of the future.