A journey through the sugarcane and swamps of Louisiana
Careful there’s a storm coming…
And it’s a strong and violent wind blowing thorough the generations
The winds of desire, guilt, identity and family history swirl around each other. Suddenly there is a blast of debauchery and we are swept along with the current to witness more secrets unravelling.
The sugar fields offer little protection from the gales and actually are the settings for the most extreme debauchery and eccentric revelations
Take my hand, hold on tight, hold your breath as we are about to venture deep into the Afterworld –
When I created you and I did create you, I dreamed you into form. My dream was your awakening. I chose your family, chose your fate, gave you the life that you call ‘my life’. When you call it ‘my life’, it is as if you believe there is some personal purpose to your residency of earth. Your ego is my greatest frustration. if only you understood that I dreamed you up in the first place,maybe you would be less resistant during those final moments when I am finished dreaming you.
This is Afterworld – a place where humans are not in control and where a greater force both holds them together and pushes them away. It is the first voice in the book as this is the narrator and overall observer. It is where we find the characters who have passed over to the other side observing those back on earth. An interesting way of finding out more about these characters, for characters they are, and for observing, like a greater being, the complexities and make up of the human psyche
The Afterworld follows the religious path of a holy book –
Book 1 – The book of revelations
Book 2 – The book of celebration
Book 3 – End of days
Book 4 – Amen
This is a story not only of people but of a family – a very dysfunctional one caught up in a hurricane – not only that of Katrina which blows them all apart but a hurricane in every sense of the word.
The Duvalier family is made up of 4 generations and they each tell their story in their own quirky and highly individual voice – they are eccentric and each has their own personal demons. They have their own goals and thoughts and many many secrets they keep hidden from each other and even sometimes from themselves –
Each character has his voice heard in a single chapter. Many come back, others have less to say but the reader listens to them all – the turbulent marriage of Charlotte and Winston and Charlotte’s fate in the Afterworld, Theodore, Stephen, Doreen. All names you will get to know – interesting in their own right but oh so fascinating when looking at their interwoven path in life.
It is June. It is hot. It is humid. It is Louisiana
The most surprising and unusual part of the book is the ‘voice’ given to the swamp lands and the sugar cane fields which make up the setting and the backdrop for the Duvalier story –
You and your Jesuit priests brought me to Louisiana in the 1750s, without asking my permission. You don’t have my permission! You don’t own me. You need me.
Tellin’ your children stories about generations and generations of honourable sugar men and sugar women who came before you. You don’t tell the truth! This land was stolen!
You bring that boy back here! Do you hear what I’m sayin’? I want Theodore! He is the only one in your family who respects and adores me. When he walks through my fields, he is in awe of my beauty. Bring that boy back and all will be forgiven. Or get yourself ready for all hell to break loose!
Then the storm hits, Hurricane Katrina hits uncovering all of the secrets, corruption and deviance that has managed, up until now to hang by the tip of its old and frail fingertips to the brink of reality.
I cannot tell you more for telling you more would give up too many secrets. You will have to travel around the sugar fields for yourself. Take care out there for what you will discover may not be what you think.
This tour around Louisiana will haunt you, it will tease you and shock you. But it is a tour that you will never ever forget.
For a chance to win a copy of Afterworld, stop by the Book Trail tomorrow.