Review: The Inheritance
THE INHERITANCE - Rochelle Aler
Kensington/Dafina

BUY
March 2017
Mainstream Fiction
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING:  A
REVIEW: THE INHERITANCE is the first book of a new series penned by the prolific author, Rochelle Alers. For this series, we leave the East Coast Cavanaugh Island setting of the Gullah culture, and head south to New Orleans, Laissez les bon temps rouler. It’s a perfect setting for this story that features Hannah DuPont-Lowell, a New Orleans native, who after losing her corporate attorney bank job in New York, moves back to the Big Easy.

Simply put, this is a story of second chances. Hannah, a corporate attorney, finds herself jobless after being unexpectedly laid off from a job that she assumed she would have until retirement. What to do? Instead of mourning over the loss of her job, Hannah decides it’s time to return to New Orleans to the beautiful Garden District and DuPont House, an eighteen room mansion with two guest houses that has been in her family for two centuries. The widowed Hannah embarks on a new life with new plans for the family mansion that she has had on the back-burner for quite some time. First, Hannah has a high school reunion to attend where she is reunited with one special man from her past, the suave, handsome, Marvin Gaye look alike, St. John McNair, a professor of history at a local private college. Both Hannah and St. John are in line for a second chance at love after suffering through disastrous first marriages. Their romance is as sultry as the New Orleans weather.

Before Hannah leaves the Big Apple for the Big Easy, she invites three women, who also lost their jobs and in need of second chances, to visit her in New Orleans. Jasmine Washington, an assistant director of personnel, Nydia Santiago, certified public accountant, and Tonya Martin, the bank’s assistant chef are educated career women and victims of the down-sizing fiasco. The three women and Hannah seem to be unlikely cohorts who are different in age, ethnicity and race, and only connected by their unemployed status. However, Ms. Alers aptly sets the stage for future alliances that will serve all of them well.

An outstanding feature of this novel is the author’s attention to details. Rochelle Alers’ description of the New Orleans culture is spot on from the eclectic cuisine offerings to the vibrant-live music scene to its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. The reader is immersed in New Orleans life through the creative words of the author. The history of  Hannah and St. John’s families (DuPont, McNair, and Toussaint) are presented with factual historical references that lend a great deal of credibility to their family histories. We are even given the correct pronunciation of St. John’s name (which is Sin-jun).

THE INHERITANCE is a captivating read, and I know you are going to enjoy it. This book has the potential to be the genesis of another first-rate series that will be comparable to the Eaton family series, the Cavanaugh Island novels, and the Hideaway novels. Be sure to add THE INHERITANCE to the top of your TBR pile. You can thank me later.


5th March 2017 | romcol@caribsurf.com