A Novel of New Orleans

Book - 2014
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Based on actual events, this rollicking ride through the Big Easy in 1897 follows Mary Deubler as she, through gumption, twists of fate and a touch of voodoo, rises above her fellow Alley Whores to become the notorious Madam Josie Arlington.
Publisher: New York : Plume, 2014.
ISBN: 9780142180624
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 326 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Martin, Kellie 1975-


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Oct 30, 2014

Raucous, heartbreaking, authentic -- a great historical read, especially for fans of New Orleans fiction.

LPL_ShirleyB Sep 17, 2014

This historical novel includes lots of factual details about early settlement of New Orleans. It's a rags to riches kind of story for the real-life Josie Arlington. The book started out slow, but I'm glad I kept reading!

Jul 22, 2014

Although parts of this novel take place in 1907 and 1997, the bulk takes place during 1897 and 1898. Mary Deubler, a teenage prostitute in New Orleans' Venus Alley, is barely making a living to support herself, her brother, and his pregnant wife. Meanwhile, the local politicians and clergy are collaborating to create the nation's first legal red light district, Storyville. Meticulously researched and filled with cameos of historical figures such as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and E.J. Bellocq, this novel details Mary's miraculous rise from the mud of of Venus Alley to the high class brothel owned by Josie Arlington (her new professional name). Photographs, drawings, and newspaper clippings from the time period add to the atmosphere of a time and place long vanished.

Feb 14, 2014

Madam: A Novel of New Orleans was just that; a story of New Orleans. From the first page I felt as if I was transported back to New Orleans at the turn of the century. Back to Venus Alley where Mary Deubler turns tricks on her kip which she must carry back and forth from her humble home to the shack in the Alley. Mary tries to make the best of her situation, scrimping and saving money for something better for herself, her brother and his wife who is with child. We are there for Mary's struggles as she goes to "work" everyday with hopes and dreams unrealistic of someone in her position.

The book was very well written and as I said, transported me back. I felt as if I was on the streets with Mary. As the story progressed Mary gets her chance to change her fate. Did Voodoo help her or her prayers? My only disappointment in the story was that it ended when it did. I wish we could have seen the transformation that took place when Mary got her dream.

I was excited to have some pictures, especially of Mary to go along with my reading journey. A true historical fiction novel. So grateful I was one of the Early Reviewers to get a copy.


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