Rampart and Toulouse proves that yet again, author/photographer Kristin Fouquet is blessed with the gift of storytelling. This collection includes Becoming Obsolete, Varietals, Paris is the Pretty One and the novella, Rampart and Toulouse. Each story is part of the grand puzzle that makes NOLA . . . NOLA.
Becoming Obsolete is the short story of Lucky and Chris who are both repairmen with a hint of shyster to them. However, they do show a sense of humility when it comes to fleecing certain customers. Varietals is a touching story of a well to do woman named Helene and a homeless man named Cyril and their connection regarding wine. Paris is the Pretty One tells the bittersweet story of sisters Claire and Simone and how beauty can be most destructive. After reading that story, I sent a quick message to Kristin regarding my feelings about it. For those of you who have ever read the book The Bell Jar, this story will remind you of that tragic tale. Funny how madness can take many forms.
The novella, Rampart and Toulouse, was quite a delight to read - artist Vivienne Diodorus rents a small apartment from a lovely and morbidly obese woman named Sweet Sue. The place has neither electricity nor any air conditioning, yet it is Heaven for Vivienne. After getting acquainted with Father Tim and Lance, other residents of the establishment, Vivienne sets her sights to paint and live the life of a bohemian. However, her life changes when she is witness to a shooting and when she takes a lover who is twice her age and soon, not even her artwork is enough. Yet, as Vivienne comes to realize, friends are angels in disguise, no matter how far they have fallen.
I really, really tried to slow down in reading this book yet that attempt proved to be futile. As I have stated before in my other reviews of Fouquet's works - she is her own voice to the spirit of NOLA. I truly hope that people will purchase her works - if you enjoy stories filled with larger than life characters that seem all too real, wrapped in wrapping called the city of New Orleans, Kristin Fouquet is your author. I have one last book of hers and I am honestly reading as many other books as I can before I read it.
In case you are interested, here is the book trailer for Rampart and Toulouse!
Thank you again, Kristin!