When New Orleans TV Reporter Corlis McCullough loses her job covering a society wedding turned fiasco, the bride?s brother, Corlis? ex-lover King Duvallon, secures her a position with a feisty TV station to make up for his part of her misfortune.

A dedicated architectural preservationist, King is fighting to preserve the wonderful old buildings. Intrigued by their historcal past despite herself, Corlis becomes involved in the fight, especially since a series of strange flashbacks related to the buildings have been revealing to her the life of her ancestor Corlis Bell McCullough. It seems Corlis Bell?s husband Randall and his business partner Ian Jeffers were up to no good. Modern-day Corlis is witness to the events which led to both tragedy and triumph. Her visits to the past are revealing events that could have a major impact on the outcome of the preservation fight, because if what she sees is true, these old buildings may have been some of the first ever owned by free people of color before the Civil War.

Wonderful storyteller Ciji Ware is in rare form with this intriguing and terrific new novel. Ms. Ware utilizes a little-known and fascinating piece of history to inspire the dreams and ambitions of her characters. (July, 320 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith