- an occasion of wild and drunken revelry.”the event has morphed into one of the most shamelessly drunken bacchanals on the social calendar”
2. a priest, worshiper, or follower of Bacchus.
I chose Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry for the #BacktoKindle Readathon. The last prompt for the #BacktoKindle readathon was to read a book by an author with books on the backlist, which is when an author has older books still on the shelves. Henry will be having a new book released in March so Bacchanal will be on the backlist sooner or later. Am I playing fast and loose with this prompt? Definitely.
Originally, I was going to read Lincoln in the Bardo. For whatever reason, I struggled with it so I switched to the audiobook. Then I got sick and could not stay awake to listen. Anyway, I changed the book for the readathon to Bacchanal.
The reader follows the story of Bacchanal Carnival beginning in 1939. The carnival is traveling throughout the southern United States. Most of the workers and performers are from Africa or are African-American.
There is a demon named Ahiku that very few people see and manage to live. She has two trusted bodyguards and the owner of the carnival, Clay Kennel, that she communicates with regularly. Clay is in charge of finding her food supply, which happens to consist of small children. She lives in the red trailer, which is off limits to everyone.
Liza Meeks has been abandoned by her family. To survive, she works at a boarding house in exchange for a bed and meals. When the Bacchanal Carnival arrives in town, Liza talks the owner into hiring her. Liza has the gift of communicating with animals but her power is a bit out of control. With a little help from her new carnival friends, she begins a new animal show. She still wants to see the inside of the red trailer. Will she ever get inside?
For most of the book, Liza has a crush on Jamey. He seems alright but he has secrets. Is he a good guy or a slimeball? The person that really helps her to understand her gift is Ishe. His body is inhabited by a hyena demon. Ishe made a deal with Ahiku to save his daughter. So now he sometimes shapeshifts into a hyena.
Liza goes on a vision quest with Ishe. She learns from one of the animals that her grandmother, Oya, was from Nigeria and also communicated with animals. Lisa knows that she has to learn more about her spiritual ancestors and spirit animals to unlock her full potential. Will she defeat the evil demon? Will she run off to Chicago with Jamey? What happened to her family?
If you enjoy historical fiction novels with a touch of magical realism, then you will enjoy Bacchanal.
If you are not a fan of magic and you think the demons will jump out of the book to eat your soul, then maybe read Bacchanal with a rosary and a book of prayers close to you.