A World of His Own: In the Land of the Creoles
Outskirts Press (2008)
Reviewed by Marcy Blesy for Reader Views (02/10)
“A World of His Own” by Arlette Gaffrey is the fictional story of Andre de Javon whose family was killed during the French Revolution when he was a child. Deciding to establish himself in a new land, he travels to New Orleans and falls in love with the city. Deciding to aim high, he takes the steps to create a large successful plantation. He is aided by his mentor Jean-Claude Charlevoix and others who appreciate his honesty, integrity, and work ethic. Sought after by the ladies of New Orleans, Andre becomes the object of affection of Julie, the daughter of Jean-Claude. Yet, much too young to marry, she must watch Andre fall under the control of Gabrielle Ste. Claire, a beautiful, yet spoiled, selfish brat. When Gabrielle and Andre marry, Andre’s life takes a negative turn. Despite his ability to stay on track to success she brings him down emotionally. The path his life takes with Gabrielle and Julie, as she matures, brings exciting twists for the reader.
I really enjoyed “A World of His Own.” This book is the second I have reviewed by Ms. Gaffrey. She creates believable, vivid characters that are easy to envision as one is reading. She totally immerses the reader into the Creole world of New Orleans during the early 1800s. Much information is given about the customs and history of that time that those familiar with New Orleans, and those wanting to learn more, will appreciate.
The pace of the story is good, and the book is a quick read, keeping the reader interested. The only issue I had trouble with at times was the mutual attraction between Julie and Andre when she was still quite underage. I understand that marriages occurred when girls were much younger then and Andre tried to see her as only a child in the beginning, but sometimes it creeped me out. When I was comfortable with the fact that she had in fact matured in age, I was completely in favor of their time together. This is simply a personal opinion with the customs of that time.
I recommend Ms. Gaffrey’s “A World of His Own” and look forward to more stories by her set in beautiful New Orleans.