Washington Square Press, Paperback, 9781451617061, 277pp.
Publication Date: April 12, 2011
Marie Levant, raised in the North by foster parents, begins her medical residency in New Orlean's Charity Hospital. Plagued by deja vu and haunted by increasingly violent dreams, Marie tries to make a life in a city that seems both foreign and familiar.
Without warning her world falls apart, for it is voodoo season: the season of heat, humidity, the West Nile virus, of unexplained deaths of young adults all with a mysterious symbol marked in red clay on their foreheads. It is the season of babies cut from their dead mother's wombs.
It is the season when the Guede, the death gods, haunt Levant--whispering tales, sending memories and dreams of Marie Laveau, a nineteenth century voodooienne, who walked on water and blended African loas with their Catholic saints, whispering tales of a second Marie, who murdered her mother and brought evil to the faith, whispering tales of a third Marie who died in a pool of blood, after abandoning her child to an orphanage. Marie Levant, the fourth Marie, must reclaim her heritage, reclaim the power of voodoo drums transformed to a jazz lament, reclaim her spiritual, womanist power. A contemporary epic and mythic tale, Marie learns "women hand down sight through generations, mother to daughter." She learns that love and passion can be intertwined, marriage and a profession can mix, and that a woman's love can redeem a world. She learns that there is no greater power than a mother's fierce passion and that of a woman secure in her self identity, secure in ancestral heritage as a black woman and a voodoo queen.
“[The book’s] world of sex, malevolence, the undead, and miraculous rescue is alluring.” —Booklist
"Jewell Parker Rhodes revisits her rich, mysterious world of New Orleans. . . . Compelling and elegantly written.”
—Tananarive Due, Essence bestselling author of Blood Colony
“Haunting and lyrical, [Season] draws us into the fascinating world of ghosts and spirits, and the people they watch over. Jewell Parker Rhodes has created a terrific character in Marie Levant: strong, sensual and vulnerable.”
—Karen Siplin, critically-acclaimed author of Whiskey Road
“A masterful evocation of the decadence of the Big Easy of long ago. . . . Rhodes adds beguiling glimpses into another world of ghosts, zombies, spirit gods and ritual sacrifices. The result is a riveting read.”
“[Season] is a tantalizing brew of spirituality, sensuality, and old-fashioned good storytelling—a perfect novel for anyone who loves a strong mystery beautifully told. Another winner from this great writer!”
—Valerie Wilson Wesley, bestselling author of Of Blood and Sorrow