20 greatest works of fiction about New Orleans

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Through the Storm (Cover image via Avon)

18. Through the Storm

Despite the title, Beverly Jenkins’ Through the Storm has nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina. Her book, the fifth in what has since turned out to be a long line of romance novels written by Jenkins, was published in 1998.

Hopefully, you’re not turning your nose up at the presence of a romance novel on this list. After all, romance is a legitimate genre, just like any other. Furthermore, there are beautifully written and well-plotted books in the romance section, same as you might find in horror, fantasy and even the supposedly high-minded literary fiction set.

Beverly Jenkins herself is a legendary romance author who has written some of the best books in the game. In particular, she’s focused on historical romance fiction that features African-Americans. That’s significant, given that romance fiction has often had a problem respectfully and consistently depicting people of color. By the way, once you’re done tearing through Jenkins’ work, check out some other black romance novelists.

In Through the Storm, Raimond Le Veq needs to get married, and fast. He’s trying to restore the name and finances of his family, who have lived in New Orleans for generations. The Civil War has ravaged the Le Veq family fortunes, but Raimond’s potential marriage offers up a ray of hope.

Raimond has had his heart broken by a careless lover, though, so he asks his mother to pick a bride. She surprises her son by selecting Sable Fontaine, a former slave and the very woman who had previously broken his heart. He’s also convinced that she was a spy for the Confederates, placing yet another roadblock in the way of their marriage. Can the pair overcome their differences and even find love together?