“Blackwell has created a vibrant amalgamation of mystery, classic noir, erotica . . . . An artful, gritty love story, eulogy, and survivor narrative for the city of New Orleans post-Katrina.” Kirkus (Starred review)
Did that quick review of Elise Blackwell's just released novel, The Lower Quarter, grab your interest?
Here's more from the publisher, Unbridled Books:
"As residents begin to return to New Orleans after Katrina, the discovery of a mysterious body reopens the investigation into a long-missing European painting, leading four lives to intersect and be forever altered.
In her studio in the Lower Quarter, Johanna restores paintings by aspiring artists and even those rare, valuable pieces by the famous. The work restores her, too. She needs to believe in reinvention, having escaped the brutal world of sex trafficking, from which she was saved by Clay Fontenot, a disreputable, massively wealthy young man from an old New Orleans family. Marion bartends to pay the bills. If times are rough, she hires herself out as a dominatrix, which introduces her to Clay. She’s had disappointments in her young life, and loss, so she doesn’t let herself think much about her situation. But she does think about her love of painting, about possible futures.
Elizam, an art thief, is out of prison on a fancy work release program. His employer asks him to find a missing painting that they believe is in New Orleans. In this hot, fragile, broken city, he sets out to return a painting because he must. No way is he going back to jail. And so begins The Lower Quarter, a page-turner about crime, art, violence, and renewal—of a city, of hearts, of paintings, of hope."
"The Lower Quarter is a beautifully written book. Elise Blackwell’s work has always been intelligent, nuanced, and finely wrought, but The Lower Quarter is her best novel yet: a mesmerizing story of art, resilience, and life after catastrophe." — Emily St. John Mandel
"Elise Blackwell is the author of five novels: Hunger, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, Grub, An Unfinished Score, and The Lower Quarter. Her work has been translated into several languages, and her books have been named to numerous best-of-the-year lists, adapted for the stage, and served as the inspiration for a Decemberists’ song. Originally from southern Louisiana, Elise has lived in assorted far-flung places and currently resides in South Carolina with her husband, the novelist David Bajo, and their daughter, Esme. New Orleans remains her favorite city in the world." You can connect with Elise Blackwell on Twitter as well as on Facebook.
If your interest is piqued, I have a copy of The Lower Quarter to giveaway, courtesy of Unbridled Books. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends Oct. 10/15. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.