Twilight of the Dawn

Elizabeth Nell Dubus, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (443p) ISBN 978-0-312-02992-0
In this smoothly written, stirring novel, Dubus ( To Love and to Dream ) focuses mainly on one Louisiana family to demonstrate the ravaging effects of the Civil War. In 1860, widower Oliver Cannon, his children Gabriele and Tom and their Aunt Mat live harmoniously at Felicity, a 5000-acre plantation worked by 230 slaves. As acrimony builds alarmingly between the North and the South, the slavery issue divides the Cannons. Fearing that Tom may marry her octaroon slave, Veronique, Aunt Mat refuses to free the girl, despite Gabriele's entreaties. Tom, aided by his friend, Alex St. Cyr, risks everything to help Veronique escape to New Orleans. When war finally erupts, Alex becomes Gabriele's suitor, even as he witnesses the disintegration of his own wealthy family. Oliver's death and the slaves' unrest wrack Felicity, yet nothing creates as much fright and tension as the approach of Union troops. Dubus dramatically reveals the Cannons' turmoil, adding poignancy with her depiction of the erosion of the plantation owners' genteel traditions. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92303-7
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