Sunday, 7 August 2011

Review: Midnight on Julia Street - Ciji Ware

TV reporter Corlis McCullough's investigation of a century-old mystery involving spectacular 19th-century buildings under the threat of the wrecker's ball brings her back into the orbit of her old college nemesis King Duvallon. But now they're mature and companionable, and King shows Corlis a fascinating, hidden side of New Orleans society. Then she begins to be pulled back into the past where corruption, violence, and greed mirror the events of the current day.

My thoughts:
This is a book with that extra something, it is not about reincarnation, but instead the main character, Corlis, smells things and sees things from the past. We do get an explanation to why this happen, why things that happened were so strong that they left a trace. It's New Awlins sugar, things are strange there.

Corlis is a non nonsense reporter. She loves to get a good story but that usually lands her in trouble because who would know that the person in the story was related to the guy owning the news station. So she changes job a lot. But I like her integrity. It's all about the story.
The book is about the past and the present. Corlis follows the news that is King Duvallon as he tries to save old buildings from getting torn down, and something fishy is going on behind the scenes. The guy who wants to build new things is not a good guy. And of course there are sparks between Corlis and King. 

The second part is about the things Corlis sees. Back in the early 1800th century her ancestor lived in New Orleans. A lot was going on there and a lot of the people she meets in this book, she also "meets" back then, their ancestors that is. It all has to do with a building that they now want to tear down. So we see old Corlis in her unhappy relationship. We learn that 45 % of black people were free people of color in New Orleans. How daughters of mixed unions were brought up to become high class courtesans. Everything connects. What is really helpful is the chart at the beginning of the book. How everyone now was related to the people back then.

The book changes now and then. Corlis chapters, and then old Corlis chapters.

Ok that sounds like there are a lot going on, but it's not a bad thing. You get into the story at once and there is no problem following it. I was really fascinated by the old story and I certainly did not know this about old New Orleans. It was a really interesting part of its history.

Ware knows how to mix her history and present and she does it so well.

An interesting book about a truly fascinating city and a rich cast of characters.


Cover Thoughts:
Nice, but yes I like to see the people

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 512
Published: August 1st 2011 (1999)
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: From the publisher

PS: I was told that one person could not see the cover, the blurb hid it. But others I asked can see it, so if someone can't see it please tell


  1. Going by your review, I think this book would be a slow read for me if I have to keep referring back to the chart at the beginning of the book. And the possibility is, I would because I am not good at remembering things. It also sounds complicated. But then again, that very complexity perhaps is the very one which makes this a good read :)

  2. That has to be one of the most purple dresses ever.

  3. Adding this to my wishlist now! Great review!

  4. Adding this to the list of Ciji Ware books I must read :)

  5. I enjoyed this one too, it seems I have been reading a lot in New Orleans and loved learned some history.

  6. One day I'll get around to read Ware's books... This sounds so good and the dress is gorgeous!

  7. I like heroines with integrity and I like purple but I am in two minds about the book. I migth try it or not. Thanks for a nice review, though!

  8. I like that there is a bit of history in it. ;) Who doesn't love a book with that extra something in it. ;)

  9. His name is King? OK, other than that the book sounds good! ;) I love when the past and present is woven together in one story. I also love books set in New Orleans. That is an amazing city!

  10. Oh I think I would like this book. I love humor in my PNR! :)

    LOVED the FF! Brilly move for her to take the coat to escape. You are slipping. Wasn't that an HEA? ;D

  11. Oops! Came back and put the comment for the Vamp book here. Now, I will do my correct comment here. lol

    You are going to get me into Ciji Ware! Did you know that? I have a couple of her books on my tbr b/c of you!

  12. I love the idea of going back and forth between the different periods; New Orleans in any era is a fantastic setting to explore.

  13. i can see the picture!

    i'm not sure why but a lot of times I don't really like time travel books.

  14. Great review. I read a book a while back that was set in New Orleans and it touched on some of the same topics like mixed girls being trained to be courtesans. Sounded like an interesting book to behold. ^.^

  15. What a beautiful cover! I recently added a couple of her books to my Nook and I'm going to add this one too. It sounds good.

  16. This sounds interesting. And a new book to me. I like the sounds of her knowing things. :) Thank you!

  17. Sounds good. I'll keep an eye out for this one. Nice review.

  18. While I do think it would be abit confusing, I do love the idea of the two parallel stories in different time periods.

  19. I like the sound of the characters - the book might be tedious for me. Great review though! :)

  20. @Cherry
    Trust me, I suck at remembering. Even when I do remember I still check back to be sure I got everyone right. But then I love charts, lol

    I do like purple


    Lol, yes I got those too

    I seldom come around to New Orleans in book, and that is such a shame. I'd like to read more

  21. @Elysium
    I want that dress, damn, love it

    Lol, well purple is one of my fav colours too. Maybe you need to read a few more reviews to make your decision

    I know, gotta love that extra something that spice things up.

    Kingsbury ;D Old family name, but peeps call him King.
    I know, what a city. I really want to read more books set there (and not just vamp books)

    Lol, well ok first, yes PNR and humour = win

    I know! I thought I was on the right way and now I made her get away, slipping indeed

    You do? :D Hihi, I hope you will enjoy them

    It was done so well too, she visited a place in real life and the story moved from there in another time

  22. Thanks Carrie :)
    Hm, I should change with different browsers to be sure

    Aha, do you remember which book? It was sad really, since they were not allowed to marry white people, or slaves. Just other free people. So they just had the city

    I hope you enjoy them all

    I am glad I put it on your radar

    I think you would like it

    It sounds confusing but when you read it all makes sense

    Thanks :) The characters were indeed cool

  23. I want to read this one! I have yet to read anything by Ware!

  24. I haven't tried Ware's work yet, but a friend of mine loves it. It sounds like there's good reason.

  25. You've made me sad that I passed on a copy of this book! I enjoyed Ware's Island of the Swans, so I'd like to give this one a try at some point, too. The historical aspect of the story attracts me most. Great review!

  26. Nice review Blodeued, I am captivated. I want to read the book for myself now. And no, I cannot see the cover either.

  27. @Jenny
    She is good :D Do try her

    I do want to read more by her, she has such a way with history

    Lol, I have been there too. most recently with that Austen book you had read and I passed on. But if you liked Swans (so wanna read that one) then I am sure you'd like this one too

    Oh no! Emailing you!

  28. I really enjoyed it for the story within a story effect. The history behind each family and the secrets that kept coming to the forefront. Her DNA flashbacks are interesting and something she used also in A Cottage by the Sea.

    Loved the review and despite the no headed girl on the cover - I loved the flow of that dress... I am such a girly girl for those things ;)

  29. This one sounds good. I like the New Orleans setting.

  30. I have to say that purple draws you in LOL. Nice review.

  31. Aisle
    I am just the same, such a girly girl when I look at dresses like that :)
    The Dna memory thing is just fascinating and how she invented something new here with scents and other memories

    It's a great setting

    It sure does :D i love it

  32. I'm actually excited to read this one this month. It will be my first Ware book!

  33. I hope you enjoy it Staci :)

  34. It does sound interesting. LOL. I like how you kept using that word. The cover is beautiful but that could be because I'm a bit obsessed with purple...just a thought. :-P Great review Linda!

  35. Deanna
    Lol, sometimes a word just sticks with me, like my cowboy review and sweet :)



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