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In ​the days before the Civil War, there lived in New Orleans the gens de couleur libre – copper-skinned half-casts, liberated by their owners, but confined by their color to a life of political nonexistence and social subordination. Still, an aristocracy would emerge in this society: artist, poets, and musicians, plantation owners, scientists and craftsmen whose talents and reputations would extend far beyond the limits of their small world.

Mega-selling author Anne Rice’s probing, lyrical style sweeps us into their midst as she introduces Marcel, the sensitive, blue-eyed scholar, Marie, his breathtakingly beautiful sister, whose curse is to pass for white; Christophe, novelist and teacher, the idol of all young gens and stunning Anna Bella, whose allure for the well-to-do white man would become legend.

Here is a compelling and richly textured tale of a people forever caught in the shadows between black and white.

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