Rebirth In Acadi by Susan Swanson
Purchase links: Adelaide Books Publishers.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Susan Swanson now lives in a New Orleans condo with her Maine Coon cat. Susan’s writing gravitates toward both where she grew up and where she lives now. She has been a church organist, piano accompanist for the Suzuki violin program at the University of Minnesota, and — at least to her mind — the consummate wife and mother. She began writing when, as empty nesters, she and her late husband took up residence in a dying community on the River Road in Louisiana, where she became enthralled with the bizarre details of the historic duel on which Rebirth in Acadi is based.
This 381-page novel takes place in Acadi, Louisiana. A young light-skinned African American woman from Brackenville, NY, secretly moves away from her home with her mother. She decides she can change her name and appearance in her move. Her new identity includes coming off as white and gets a nose job to make it more real. She moves to Acadi so that she can learn more about her ancestors.
Her ancestor, Dr. Albert Bancroft was killed in a duel after the Civil War in Louisiana. She wants to know who shot him and why. She’s also curious why his wife was playing the organ during the duel and never flinched after she was told that he was dying. The young lady’s name is now Louise Dennis and she’s not the only one looking to the history of the duel.
Margaret and Fred are building a house on the location of the Bancroft home. Margaret loves digging for artifacts and finds part of a fence that was posted on the Bancroft estate. She becomes obsessed with the story and is a pushy woman, determined to get her way. The other story is that Margaret’s new home is certainly not progressing well. The contractor, Pierre (who is also Louise’s new fiancé), is ripping them off because of 2nd rate work and materials.
When you read this book, you find that it’s somewhat confusing and it takes some time before it starts to make sense. Then, the story becomes more clear. Later in the book the reader will finally understand how all these people fit together. Each chapter has a different perspective and it seems that many characters are given focus that don’t really mean that much to the plot.
As the story evolves and more huge events unfold, the characters become more sympathetic, if not loveable. Problems of racism in the past and present are shown in a realistic light. The book is clean, with only three mild curse words and no sexual content. There are discussions of adultery with a minor and suicide.