Canticles of an Aging Creole: A Novel

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iUniverse, Aug 6, 2010 - Fiction - 484 pages
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Nearly fifty-nine-years-old, Henry Arbuthnot deeply mourns the death of his French Creole mother, Mathilde. On Good Friday, Henry manages to shower and ready himself for work, even though his mother’s overbearing voice haunts him all the while. With his daily cup of coffee for Clancy, he boards and greets the streetcar driver, his old friend and son of the family’s maid. Struggling with grief, guilt, and bitterness, Henry rides the streetcar down the streets of New Orleans and the avenues of his life.

He seeks a retrospective on his family’s life and questions his relatives and acquaintances for their recollections. Through this reflection he hopes to understand his mother’s stubborn obstruction of his desire to join the priesthood.

His mother bludgeons, connives, and steals his faith—even taking a train to Georgetown University to admonish the priest and guidance counselor to keep the church away from her son. All Mathilde wants is for Henry to be a normal boy who plays sports and has girlfriends from proper society. But as his Aunt Eugenie says, “Henry is special.” In the end, Henry must try to both salvage his faith and make peace with his mother’s ghost.

 

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
11
Section 3
23
Section 4
41
Section 5
51
Section 6
71
Section 7
83
Section 8
97
Section 20
237
Section 21
253
Section 22
267
Section 23
274
Section 24
287
Section 25
299
Section 26
305
Section 27
322

Section 9
102
Section 10
114
Section 11
126
Section 12
138
Section 13
146
Section 14
163
Section 15
175
Section 16
185
Section 17
203
Section 18
222
Section 19
230
Section 28
336
Section 29
365
Section 30
376
Section 31
400
Section 32
420
Section 33
428
Section 34
446
Section 35
453
Section 36
475
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Charles Blakiston Ashburner, also called Blake, grew up in New Orleans. He graduated from Louisiana State University and moved to Washington DC, where he became a noted antiques dealer and art collector specializing in period master paintings. He died at

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