The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish
Hurricane Katrina’s bearing down on New Orleans and the apartment of 90-year-old Louis Proby. The authorities are saying it’s going to be a massive storm, but Louis can’t help remembering an earlier disaster – the Great Flood of 1927 – and its impact on the course of his life. Set in a fictional Louisiana parish, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish takes readers on a journey of a young man’s growing awareness of his own desires and an even stronger awareness of how a moment’s decision can alter one’s life. As floodwaters are bearing down on Cypress Parish, Proby finds himself pulled between the beautiful Nanette, his family and father, and powerful men intent on changing things.
The story is written in such a lush, lyrical style hanging heavy with detail such that readers can almost feel the humidity in the air. As Proby narrates the story and lets readers in on the machinations he witnesses, readers can’t help ruminating on events in the lead-up and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They’re also left to ponder those events and wonder if those affected will write similar stories. The talent in this book rests on the fact that it pulls readers into a wonderfully told story while at the same time inspires them to look hard at what has happened to those still living with the aftermath of Katrina.
Overall, Blackwell has produced a wistful, thoughtful book. For lovers of Southern fiction, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish is definitely recommended. It’s also recommended for most everyone else who appreciates a well-done story.