This image is the cover for the book Secessia


The acclaimed author of The Blood of Heaven shares “a vivid portrait of 1862 New Orleans” as Union soldiers take over in this panoramic Civil War novel (Ron Charles, Washington Post).

The largest city in the ill-starred confederacy has fallen under the soon-to-be-infamous General Benjamin “the Beast” Butler. And when twelve-year-old Joseph Woolsack disappears from his home, he draws his mother, Elise—a mixed-race woman passing for white—into a dark new world.

Joseph grapples with his father’s legacy of violence and his own growing sentiment for Cuban exile Marina Fandal, the only survivor of a shipwreck that claimed the lives of her parents. Meanwhile, Elise struggles to keep hold of her sanity, her son and her own precarious station. But she soon encounters a troubling figure from her past, a man who is deeply mired in the intrigue surrounding the city’s occupation.

Alternating between the perspectives of five characters, Secessia weaves a tapestry of ravenous greed and malformed love, of slavery and desperation, set within the baroque melting-pot that is New Orleans. A Gothic tableaux vivant of epic scope and intimate horror, Secessia is the netherworld reflection of the conflict between north and south.

Kent Wascom

Grove Press