....................Tales From A New Orleans Courtyard
I've visited New Orleans a few times, all before Hurricane Katrina, each memorable for different reasons. After reading this stunning, recently published book, I long to return. When given the chance to review Stealing Magnolias I was definitely excited. Given a brief description of content, it piqued my curiosity immediately..........the city, the history, the customs, the music, the people, the food, and of course the French influence on decor.
Debra Shriver and her husband, after spending a lot of time away from their New York home vacationing and visiting with friends they had made in New Orleans, looked for, and found, their dream home. Three weeks after deciding to purchase the beautiful 1850's Greek Revival house, Katrina hit and much of the city was underwater. They stayed, and eventually were able to decorate the house. Many of the photographs in this book show Debra's beautiful interiors, she also describes how she picked colors, chose furnishings and brought life and color back into the elegant rooms.
This is not just another pretty to look at coffee table book. This is a definitive history of a magical American city. The author takes you on a tour through the many neighborhoods, sharing her 'Address Book' of places to eat, shop, stay, visit etc. She explains the secrets of Mardi Gras, that intoxicating Carnival with lavish costumes, masked balls, street parades, beating drums. A chapter on the intricacies of the monogram which, in the South as in France, has endured as a classic element of design on linens, makes us aware that even a family without a crest can have a monogram!
In Debra's chapter on food, Recipes & Rituals, it doesn't take long before your mouth is watering and you want to head for your kitchen to try concocting some of the delicacies known only in New Orleans. How about Cheddar biscuits with Gulf Shrimp and Creole Meuniere Sauce, Crab Pots de Creme, Banana Pudding Trifle, all while sipping delicate flutes of Kumquat Champagne Cocktail, delicious! I loved the description of her favorite gatherings, small, informal progressive suppers, walking from house to house through the French Quarter and stopping to enjoy each course prepared by a different neighbor - something I may consider organizing in my own cul-de-sac on a warm spring evening!
Once you have this beautiful book, Stealing Magnolias, in your hands, find a comfortable place, sit down, put your feet up, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, perhaps a New Orleans style cafe au lait like this.........and spend some time getting to know New Orleans, the Paris of America. Rest assured you'll want to take a trip there, no passport required. This beautifully written book, full of gorgeous photographs and interesting quotes, will be one you'll want to return to often.
To purchase Debra's book go here:
Publisher Glitterati, Inc.
Innovative producer and publisher of books.
All images from STEALING MAGNOLIAS by Debra Shriver
Copyright 2010, published by Glitterati Inc. www.Glitteratiincorporated.com