Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Until I read Jewell Parker Rhodes very finely crafted novel, Voodoo Dreams, Marie Laveau, the New Orleans voodoo queen loomed invincible, beyond the reaches of anyone: man, woman, Black, or white. But in this novel Rhodes skillfully humanizes Laveau by presenting the majority of characters, including our heroine, as soared people motivated by their insecurities and fears. Those who are bold enough to seize the opportunities presented to them, such as John, Marie Laveau’s vicious lover, exploit their power and manipulate others for their own glory. The Marie Laveau that we meet in this novel is the third in a line of voodooienne; she is a novice priestess, and a victim of domestic violence, which is perpetuated by her own distorted sexual attraction to John. John was also her mother’s lover and his actions precipitated her mother’s death. Mostly, Marie Laveau is a victim of ignorance.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1995