Most of the Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewell Parker Rhodes is set in New Orleans. Some of the book is set in what is known as the Bayou Teche area of Louisiana, which is mostly a rural waterway.
Marie Laveau was a real person. In fact, Marie Laveau had two daughters named Marie Laveau, which made it confusing to know who the real Marie Laveau was. In the book, there are four Maries – the famous Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau plus the grandmother, mother, and daughter.
At the beginning of the book, Marie doesn’t know anything about Voodoo. She’s just an innocent girl from the country near Bayou Teche. Marie travels to New Orleans with her grandmother. Her grandmother and mother were Voodoo priestesses; however, her grandmother converted to Christianity and never taught Marie about Voodoo.
Marie marries Jacque but then almost immediately leaves him for John, a Voodoo doctor. I imagine him to be like R. Kelly but with less talent. He’s a jealous, controlling, abusive person. I don’t see what attracts the women in Marie’s family to John. He doesn’t have any actual power as far as Voodoo. He makes a potion to remain ageless but he doesn’t have visions. John is insanely jealous of Marie because she is so connected to the spirit of Damballah.
If you are looking for a good fictional book about Marie Laveau then this book is a good choice. If you are planning on visiting New Orleans, Voodoo Dreams would be a good book to read before your trip. You cannot visit New Orleans without hearing about Marie Laveau.
If you are R. Kelly or someone opposed to women having power, then you might not like this book.
FYI: Ask for permission before you take pictures at a Voodoo priestess’s house or place of business. Apparently, it’s frowned upon. Lesson learned.