Whitney J. LeBlanc has written the saga of a Creole family from Estilette Louisiana, against the backdrop of the birth of the blues.
In the 1930’s Phillip Fergerson’s marriage to Martha, the beautiful Creole woman of his dreams turns into nightmares. Instead of becoming the doctor he promised to be, he becomes a high school teacher, and events of murder, lynching, voodoo and sexual abuse by a priest, set in motion the disintegration of the family.
Martha’s brother, Lightfoot, performs blues music in the juke-joints as he witnesses the beginning of the blues as an art form. We follow the early blues legends from Robert Johnson, to Bessie Smith to Leadbelly to Lightinn’ Hopkins and BB King as they sing their way through the Delta.
Martha, a proud and devoted Catholic, looks on in horror as one by one of her family falls under the influence of the devil’s gut-bucket music. With his marriage falling apart, Phillip finds himself in the arms of a woman from his past. Each of the four children go their separate ways and Martha blames it all of the influence of the sinful music. She takes her revenge. It is a story filled with love, lust, murder, voodoo and adventure.
One reviewer writes, “I couldn’t put it down until I read the whole thing. Only when I got to the last page I was looking for more.”
“Whitney LeBlanc makes his literary debut with an impressive, multidimensional, highly entertaining family drama, written in the glory of the blues. I threw open my arms and embraced Blues in the Wind like a beloved long lost relative. Finally, a family drama with some bite has arrived. Blues in the Wind is one of the best books I have read. A triumph.
…Martha Fergerson is the most complex and interesting character in the novel. She reminded me of other great southern female central characters created by William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Flannery O’Conner.”
“Moving vivid and realistic, Blues in the Wind is rich in narrative and descriptive detail of the Louisiana Creole/Negro culture during the era of the Great Depression to the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, when blues music was simultaneously evolving in the juke joints and red-light districts of the black neighborhoods. The blues theme serves as a counterpoint to the story of the progressive disintegration of the Fergerson family, as it is overwhelmed by internal and external conflicts of color, caste, race and religion.”
Thomas D, Pawley, III PhD. Professor Emeritus, department of Theatre & Drama, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO.
“…Like the “blues,” the wind that blows in LeBlanc’s novel becomes a tornado that rips the roots of one Creole family and the segregated society of the 1930’s-1950’s in which it lives…LeBlanc draws heavily on his theatrical background to create characters that realistically become both initiators and receivers of the contradictions, suspense, discoveries, crises and spectacle in which the novel abounds…This is indeed, a tragic story full of hypocrisy, deceit and pain. The writing not only drags the reader into the excitement of each moment, but gives insight into the struggles of the past and presages the horrors that are still to come…Aficionados of the blues proclaim that “implicit in the term ‘blues’ is the whole tragedy of the black race.” In the hands of Whitney LeBlanc, Blues in the Wind, his novel of one Creole family, gains universality and should demand widespread reading. Squeals of this novel can be anticipated.”
Winona L. Fletcher, PhD, Professor Emeritus, department of Theatre & Drama, Indiana, University, Bloomington, IN.
“Blues in the wind is a rare and powerful portrait of a Louisiana Creole family painted inside the blues tradition. It chronicles two decades of African American history with color and imagination. The cast of characters is vivid and unforgettable.”
Dee Spencer, Ed.D Professor of Music San Francisco State University, Professor of Music, Berklee College, Boston, MA.