Title: Brown Bag Book Review to be held Tuesday, May 17th, at Crosby Library with Juanita Gex

Published 12:26 am Sunday, May 15, 2011

The May meeting of the Brown Bag Book Review will be May 17th, at 12 noon in the Conference Room of the Crosby Library. Our book to be reviewed this month is “Intimate Enemies”, The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba, by Christina Vella. Combining the historian’s meticulous research with the biographer’s exacting knowledge of her subject and the novelist’s gift for narrative, Vella has crafted a rare cross-genre work that will capture the imagination and admiration of every reader. Born into wealth in New Orleans in 1795 and married into misery fifteen years later, the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba led a life ripe for novelization. “Intimate Enemies”, however, is the spellbinding true account of this resilient woman’s life and the three men who most affected its course.

Nineteeth-century New Orleans and Paris were towns of magnificent balls, squalid smells, unstable governments and bungling quack doctors. Both cities were home to Micaela Almonester, the Baroness de Pontalba, and both are still home to her legacies, The Parisan Hotel Pontalba, and the Pontalba Buildings in New Orleans. The story of the woman behind these architectural triumphs is Gothic to the core, and Vella, a history professor at Tulane, has woven a spellbinding historical narrative for us here.

Juanita Gex, President of our Pearl River County Historical Society, has chosen to review this book for us. So if you have never been to one of our book reviews now would be a good time to become familiar with us. The Brown Bag Book Review is an arm of The Friends of the Library of Crosby Memorial Library. You are invited to bring lunch with you as we eat lunch as we listen to the review. The Friends supply you with drinks and dessert. This will be the last review of our season which will resume in September. So we are closing with a bang with the review of this much vaunted book.

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