Juliette Ascending

Written by R. Poole-Carter
Review by Dana Cohlmeyer

Set among New Orleans’ Creole elite after the Civil War, Juliette Ascending opens with fifteen-year-old Juliette Carondel lurking on a darkened balcony, peering into a dark night in the French Quarter, and tells her story of the days leading up to and just after her first Mardi Gras ball. Of course Juliette meets a Union soldier and falls madly in love. And, of course, her parents have other plans for her future. Having led the cloistered life of a privileged Creole child, she struggles to make sense of her blossoming and finds her beliefs shaken as she witnesses a murder.

True to form, this novel blends New Orleans’ finest elements—strict tradition, voodoo, and steamy Southern nights—into the mold of Southern gothic nearly at its best. Readers can’t miss the shadow of Romeo and Juliet hanging heavy over this young adult book; at the same time they can’t fail to be drawn into the lush, slightly sinister mood of Juliette Ascending. Dripping with teenage angst, passion and will, this book has more than enough going for it to pull in readers well past the dew of youth!