The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
ISBN: 9781250056191 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781466877733 (ebook)
ASIN: B00OYGJG2O (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
When Frances Sorrow returns home to the now dilapidated Sorrow Estate to restore her birthright, she finds herself haunted by a 100-year-old mystery only she can unravel
Set amidst the charming chaos of The French Quarter and remote bayous of Tivoli Parish, Louisiana, Suzanne Palmieri’s The Witch of Bourbon Street weaves an unforgettable tale of mystery and magic.
Situated deep in the bayou is the formerly opulent Sorrow Estate. Once home to a magical family, the Sorrows, it now lays in ruins, uninhabited since a series of murders in 1902 shocked the entire community. When Frances Green Sorrow is born, the family is on the brink of obscurity and the last remaining Sorrows cling to the hope that she is the one who will finally resurrect the glory of what once was.
However, Frances has no wish to be the family’s savior. Disillusioned, she marries young, attempting an “ordinary life,” and has a son, Jack. When her marriage fails and she loses custody of her boy, she runs away to live a quiet life on the dilapidated Sorrow Estate, where she practices solitary magic amid ghosts and gardens. But when Jack disappears, she is forced to rejoin the world she left behind and solve the century-old murder that casts a long shadow over Tivoli Parish and its inhabitants in order to find her son.
The Witch of Bourbon Street is a story of love, family, redemption and forgiveness. It’s a story that bridges the nostalgia of time, and brings those that are separated back together again.
The Sorrow family is just that, a family filled with a history of sorrow. Due to a tragedy in 1901, the subsequent generations of Sorrows have had to deal with the idea that their family is cursed. The Sorrow women consist of Frances (Frankie), her mother Claudette, and her grandmother Dida. Claudette suffered a tragic injury causing blindness when she was only four years old. Her lover and father to Frankie drowned in an accident at sea. Frankie has turned her back on the world because she feels guilt over an incident that occurred when she was sixteen years old. Frankie’s son Jack has decided to take it upon himself to bring his parents back together using whatever magic he can work. The Witch of Bourbon Street is a multigenerational story that weaves magic in with love lost, love found, family, and forgiveness.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of in this story. We have Frances “Frankie” Sorrow and her family: Belinda “Dida” Sorrow (grandmother), Old Jim Green (grandfather), Claudette “Claudie” Sorrow (mother), Daniel Amore (ex-husband and father to Jack), Jack Amore (Frankie’s son), Millie Bliss (Jackie’s best friend and surrogate sister), and Sippie Wallace (Frankie’s daughter). The supporting cast includes: Eight Track (Sippie’s adoptive father), Simone (Sippie’s deceased adoptive mother), Junebug (the bartender at Voodoo), and Mr. Craven (historical society worker) . . . and a lot of ghosts. There’s the bar at 13 Bourbon Street in New Orleans that is owned by the Sorrow family, the Voodoo bar in Tivoli Parish that is managed by Millie, the bayou, and the Sorrow family estate. Add in a family history of witchcraft and magic along with the hidden story behind the tragedy of 1901 and you’ve got all the makings for a somewhat convoluted yet intriguing story that spans generations and time.
I found The Witch of Bourbon Street to be a bit confusing at first simply because it was bouncing back and forth in time (1901 and the present) and then bouncing between perspectives. Once I had all of the major characters clear in my head and their relationships to one another it was a bit easier to keep track of everything. The story really began to pick up when Sippie located her biological family and was reunited with them. There’s quite a bit of backstory that has to be dealt with before we get to the action precipitated by Jack’s disappearance. Can Frankie and Danny overcome their differences and build a lasting relationship? Will Frankie, Danny, and Sippie be able to find Jack? What’s the mystery behind the Sorrow family tragedy in 1901? These questions and many more are answered fully when past and present overlap in The Witch of Bourbon Street. This story is perfect for anyone that enjoys reading about love, family, forgiveness, and family drama with hints of magic.
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