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Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
The stories contained in I Remember New Orleans and Other Treasures read like vignettes or cultural and historical time capsules. In the first story, the author, Gerry Lites Watkins, shares memories of her early years in New Orleans while living with an aunt. Another one recounts the tragic yet triumphant history of the Acadians, now known as the Cajuns. Others tell us of the colonial Spanish and French roots of the area, of loot hidden and often sought for, and of a memorable trip to the Holy Land. Several are particularly comical, one concerning a new set of teeth and one about getting a headstone paid for, while another one describes a tale of matchmaking and marriage in Alaska, and a final one speaks of memories of a long-gone grandmother and soap making.
I Remember New Orleans and Other Treasures is a delightful collection of short stories by Gerry Lites Watkins. Several of them are set in the environs of Louisiana, in particular New Orleans and Acadiana, “Cajun Land”, which is one common thread. Another common thread in these stories is the author’s presence. She has wandered through the varied, colorful, and vibrant landscapes that are New Orleans, Israel, and even Alaska. The book also includes photographs of some of the places visited by the author. We can touch, taste, and hear the clamorous music and sights of those exotic places. The author has a companionable style of writing that draws us in and keeps us reading and learning about storied places. Her shared observations and experiences are thoughtfully told and certainly worth the reading time. This was an informative and fun read. I learned some interesting facts.