Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Spirits in New Orleans

Raziela is a smart, strong young woman attending Tulane in the 1920s. She is an advocate for birth control and tries to secretly educate other women in New Orleans--a dangerous ambition at the time. She plans to attend medical school after her graduation but tragically, never gets that far.

The Mercy of Thin Air follows Razi's life or more accurately, her afterlife. Through flashbacks interspersed throughout the book, we learn about her life, her love--Andrew, and her dreams. Planning to become an obstetrician and being deeply in love with Andrew are not enough; when Andrew asks her one day what she really wants--her answer is "to be immortal." She explains that one lifetime is not enough for all of the trouble she is capable of causing!

The novel bounces between generations, time periods and cities in Louisiana--though never very far. As Razi searches for her lost Andrew, she moves in with a couple, Scott and Amy, and becomes concerned with their struggling marriage Amy's issues. As she gets involved, they reunite Razi with people from her own past. She is joined by a few friends who are also in "the between"--souls who have left earth but not yet gone on to what lies beyond.

Traveling between time periods was a little disconcerting at first but it did not take long to become accustomed to the rythym of the book. Of course, I am a sucker for a good story set in New Orleans and this novel did not disappoint! In addition to familiar locations and compelling characters, the novel deals with issues that may not seem as compelling today. By 1929, women had won the vote but did not have access to birth control. Razi, attending one of the few universities that admitted women at that time, leaves literature hidden in the college's library and hosts secret parties to give this information to other women.


Tracy said...

I really enjoyed this one, too. Is it as hot there as it is in Kansas? I was noticing your "84 days" and thinking how miserable it would be to be pregnant on a day like this. But hopefully you are enjoying AC and maybe some cloud cover. I imagine you are still in the sunny and warm category... but I can send cool weather thoughts your way, right?

LoryKC said...

It IS HOT! However, the AC does work and we're making daily trips to the pool! ;)
Hope you have some cloudy days in your forecast soon! Thank you for the cool thoughts! :)