DARIEN, Conn. – Author Robert H. Patton will celebrate the release of his forthcoming novel, “Cajun Waltz” on Tuesday from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Louise Parker Berry Community Room at the Darien Library.
Patton, author of nonfiction histories, has written a story full of music, dark times and ultimate triumph with “Cajun Waltz: A Novel.” Inspired by his passion for Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, and duck hunting in the Deep South, Patton introduces readers to the cadence of New Orleans, spanning generations of rhythm and suffering.
The lyrics of a Cajun waltz may be dark as midnight with heartache and trouble, but still the music swings. The same goes for what happens after a shifty musician and a lonely shop girl let destiny sweep them into an ill-suited marriage in swampy southwest Louisiana on the eve of the Depression. Love doesn’t much figure between Richie Bainard and Esther Block. They build a business together while dreaming opposite dreams of fulfillment.
Three generations of the volatile clan grapple with the region’s economic struggles and racial tensions. The Bainard children, twins Bonnie and R.J. and their half-brother Seth, pursue separate cravings for money, sex and religion. The chase in each case runs off the rails thanks to an ex-marine with a soft heart and a brutish devotion; a dazzling young stepmother of mixed race and mixed motives; and a high school tart who proves tougher and truer than all of them. Ultimately it takes the mass devastation of Hurricane Audrey in 1957 to cleanse the reckless passions.
Patton holds degrees in literature and journalism from Brown University and Northwestern University. He worked as a Capitol Hill reporter, a commercial fisherman, and a real estate developer before publishing his family memoir, “The Pattons,” in 1994. He lived and traveled throughout the South before settling in Darien with his wife.
The Darien Library is located at 1441 Post Road.
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