Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Babylon Rolling by Amanda Boyden ***

Babylon Rolling by Amanda Boyden is a novel of the people living in Uptown New Orleans on Orchid Street to year before Hurricane Katrina. The main characters are:
  • Ariel May and Edgar Allen Flank: A married couple from Minnesota, he a Buddhist house husband and she a manager of a hotel in the French Quarter. Their small children are Miles Davis May and Ella Fitzgerald May, also know as Fitzy, though she doesn't like the nickname.
  • Nate and Sharon Harris have five teenage children. The two boys (Daniel, street name: Fearius, and Michael, street name: Muzzle) work for Alphonse, the local drug dealer. The girls Klameisha and Debutante already have their own babies. Angelique is the youngest.
  • Philomena and Joe Beauregard de Bruges: He has colon cancer and she keeps journal on all the activities on Orchid Street. Philomena wants to change her name to Prancie.
  • Cerise (Cherry) and Roy Brown: Long time resident, often visited by their daughter Marie with her husband Thomas and Lil Thomas.
  • Indira and Ganesh Gupta: They are the newest residents. Their children are Elizabeth and William who are the same ages as Miles and Ella.
As might be hinted with all the name changing, this is also a novel of self-discovery as the various characters search to find their place in their relationships, on Orchid Street and in the universe. Each finds a different answer, some leading to a content, though maybe bitter-sweet future, while other come to a dead end.

A pleasant mixture of New Orleans and self-obsessed angst.

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