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The Feast of All Saints

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,223 Ratings  ·  342 Reviews
Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN: 0-345-33453-1.

In the days before the Civil War there lived a Louisiana people unique in Southern history. For though they were descended from African slaves, they were also descended from the French and Spanish who had enslaved them. They were the gens de couleur libre—the Free People of Color— and in this dazzling historical novel, Anne R
Mass Market Paperback, Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN: 0-345-33453-1, 640 pages
Published May 1991 by Ballantine Books (first published 1979)
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Recommended Historical Fiction
389th out of 2,263 books — 2,290 voters
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4th out of 21 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 11, 2011 Aleeda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel so often gets overlooked; Anne Rice's mystical writings about vampires, mummies and witches easily overshadow it. Pity, because for my money, this is her BEST work. While researching Interview with a Vampire, she gathered enough information, for this, her second novel (as Anne Rice). The book blends a wonderful love of a beautiful city (New Orleans) with a genuine interest in African American culture. The gens de couleur libre, a society of free middle-class mixed-raced people, had co ...more
Jennifer Pavich
Jun 14, 2011 Jennifer Pavich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely different than most Anne Rice novels, this one forgoes the supernatural entirely.

One of my favorite books, this novel is rich with history of pre-Civil War New Orleans and rural Louisiana. Characters are very compelling and Rice deftly explores the nearly mind boggling complexity of race and relationships in a city where degrees of black- or whiteness meant everything.

NOTE: The movie was flat and much oversimplified by comparison, not even worth watching.
Oct 08, 2009 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this five stars (it was amazing) because that is how I felt about this book when I read it when I was fifteen. My dad bought this book for me on one of our Sunday bookstore browsing days and I picked it up only because I liked the cover. I had never heard of Anne Rice and didn't know anything about her Vampire Chronicles.

I was immediately sucked into this book by its historical context,intricate plot, kind of naughtiness, and very romantic New Orleans setting. I was devastated at the
Apr 19, 2015 Ronnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love books that highlight African American history, and I was beside myself when i found this book one day in a bin at Goodwill. For .25 I got one of the best books I've ever read. Mrs. Rice weaves an excellent tale about the gen de libre coloure, a little known community of mixed races free people of color that populated Louisiana. I was completely draw into the world of Marcel St. Marie as he struggled with his identity on his road to becoming a man.

This was a great book.
Apr 23, 2011 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, american-lit
This book made me understand colourism in Black society a bit more. Very interesting book, though it took me about 200 pages to really get into it
Oct 16, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third time I've read this novel. The first, at a tender age of 15, left me wrecked, changed, broken hearted and overwhelmed. I then spent a summer a couple years later reading it aloud to my aunt, who made fun of my French pronunciation as well as added sound effects when necessary (a specialty of hers, learned from many years of listening to me read to her). The second reading cemented my youthful longing for an intelligent man and a journey to the city of light. Now, more than two ...more
Feb 12, 2009 Ginger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is so much better than the vampire books, a complex and fully imagined life of a young free man of color in pre-Civil War New Orleans.
Jun 03, 2008 Keri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
as of 6/3/08, this is the most beautiful book I've read! It's Anne Rice so very yummy details. All in all a coming of age story for a "free people of color" family in pre-Civil war era. Time piece is great, the adventure and romance of early Louisiana is so intoxicating. Anne seems to have done a fair amount of research on this book (plus she's lived in New Orleans for quite a while) - according to the brief tours I engaged in while in NOLA, many details match up. Some names and dates are differ ...more
Jessica Thurlow
Feast of all Saints: A Refreshing Fiction
I have been a fan of Anne Rice since I was twelve years old. I t was then that Lestat held me in his arms and whispered sweet nothings in my ear. And it is becuse of this experience that the name Rice has become synonymous with all things preternatural for me. Thus, I was shocked to find, when I began reading The Feast of all Saints that the novel contained no elements of the supernatural save for a few instances of spiritual awakening. I confess that I w
A remarkable well-researched and from-the-heart work of historical fiction which follows the everyday lives of antebellum gens de couleur, also commonly called "Creole" society in Southern Louisiana. A motley assortment of characters and a well-crafted and cleverly paced storyline is accented by unexpectedly complex explorations of racial dynamics from a variety of perspectives along the color line, and mostly within it's lesser explored grayspaces. The author is bold in her trajectory, employin ...more
Alexander Santiago
Apr 03, 2007 Alexander Santiago rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americana, anne-rice
A beautiful and lush novel set in a very unique community in America in antebellum New Orleans - the gens de couleur libre, the mixed race Creoles of color. The novel, though with many characters who play very important roles in the story, concentrates on the St. Marie family: Cecile St. Marie, the haughty matriarch of dark skin and fine european features who was rescued as a little girl from St. Domingue during the revolt; her daughter, Marie, blessed/cursed with the ability to pass for white, ...more
Feb 17, 2009 Carmela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of my three favorite books by Anne Rice. It is set in New Orleans and is about the life of one man and his three families. His white wife and children, his kept quadroon woman and their children, and his slave woman and their child. This book talks about the complexity of race relations in a very personal way and during a time period when people didn't talk about race at all, 1800s. It is not a ghoulish tale, like Rice is known for writing either. It is a period story about ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Alethea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Feast of All Saints is one of the most beautifully written books I have read. The story focuses on the lives of the gens de colour, free people of color in antebellum New Orleans, who created a rich and highly cultured society in the midst of prejudice and the world of slavery. Purely historical fiction, and at times skirting the genre of Southern Gothic, it focuses on young Marcel, the blue-eyed mulatto son of a plantation owner who keeps Marcel's mother and his family in luxury in New Orle ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never finished this one. It never really went anywhere. I probably read half of it and decided to stop.
Verónica Calvo

Una novela ambientada en una epoca y lugar fascinantes, por la celebre autora de las Cronicas Vampiricas. En el estado de Luisiana, antes del estallido de la guerra de Secesion, existio una casta muy peculiar. Sus miembros eran descendientes de los esclavos, pero llevaban tambien la sangre de los esclavistas franceses y esp añoles, que tenian por costumbre liberar a los hijos que tenian con sus concubinas negras.El atractivo que sus hermosas mujeres ejercian entre los blancos de Nueva O
Feb 23, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Jade Brelsford
Although mostly known for her vampire fiction, Rice's non-paranormal books are easily her best as Cry To Heaven and now this deftly illustrate.

A beautiful mix of history and fiction that plunges us into the incredibly complex lives of the Free People of Colour of New Orleans in the mid 19th century, a world I was largely ignorant of prior to picking this up, I loved this book and soon found myself absorbed completely. Written mostly from the viewpoint of the St Marie family (Cecile, under placag
Jul 02, 2013 Ronique rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2009 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying that Anne Rice is my favorite author. I discovered her work when I was barely a teenager. Rice painted vivid, metaphysical worlds for her vampires, witches, and spirits. The page turning tales she spun were an escape that brought me through some of the toughest trials of my adolescence. There was one novel, though, that I completely disregarded because it was of the historical fiction genre. The Feast of All Saints is set in Louisiana in the 1840's. The main characters are ...more
Stef Rozitis
Feb 15, 2016 Stef Rozitis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1991-2000
Horribly believable historical novel about race, and about having very limited ways of performing masculinity and femininity and even family relationships. Noone in the book is completely innocent, but noone in it is free to be the idealist you would wish either.

The book was hauntingly sad, had a sort of despairing flavour and a scent of a marshy hot place to it.

Very worth a read.
Scott Williams
This was my first reading of Anne Rice's second novel. In it, you can clearly see the beginnings of the writer she would become. Here we see the roots of her explorations of historical New Orleans and the multigenerational family storytelling that her Mayfair Witches series would make her famous for.

I love that in 1979, Rice included a gay character in a work of popular fiction without comment. This person is simply present and his romantic entanglements are described as benignly as any others.
Vold Kira
Jul 09, 2015 Vold Kira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una historia bastante acertada de cómo era la vida de las "gens de colour" en el siglo XIX.
Con Anne Rice estaba yo acostumbrado siempre a historias con toques sobrenaturales, ya fueran vampiros, brujas, ángeles, demonios o momias, pero en este libro nos ofrece una sobria narración sobre la vida de un joven mulato y sus desventuras en NUeva Orleans.

Es de lo más denso que he leído de Anne Rice (tuve que empezarlo y dejarlo dos veces antes de poner tomarle el pulso), pero casi a la mitad de la hist
Roberta Stewart
Jun 28, 2011 Roberta Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I said about "Cry To Heaven" don't dismiss this as just another Anne Rice book. It's an historical novel about being a mixed race or mulatto young man in 19th century New Orleans. There was a whole class of colored, well-off, well-educated and cultured people in New Orleans at this time. They ranked far above the blue-collar Irish immigrants in the complex social strata of the Crescent City. While Anne Rice's writing tends towards the overlush, this is a captivating, interesting story of a ti ...more
Christopher Greffin
The Feast of All Saints is a book I will remember for sometime to come. But first off all let me get the things I didn't like out of the way. Some of the action feels too melodramatic. It does not have the typical story arc, which is fine in itself as other epic novels have taken that approach, but the overall structure just didn't work completely for me. And it's a depressing read much of the time. Many of the characters seem so unhappy so often that it was hard for me to read more than a dozen ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rice is truly gifted. There is so much detail and lush writing in this book about a time and place she seems to know so well - as if she lived there in a former life. She makes the reader smell it, taste it, touch it. Wonderful!
Feb 28, 2009 Willlow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Anne Rice book I ever read. I've been smitten since by her writting and New Orleans as well. My soul now resides there with her help. Book gives a great insight to N.O. caste system in the early days...Enjoy
May 01, 2009 Shara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favs
I have never been so involved in character in a book in my life. It made laugh, cry and scream it was so damn good! The history was accurate, the imagery breath taking. I cannot recommend this book enough!
3.5 would be a fairer grade. It took me 40-50 pages to really start enjoying this, but once I did I was hooked. Very interesting story set, of course, in New Orleans and focused on the lives of slaves,"quadroons" or gens de couleur libres, or free people of color, "mulattoes" and Louisiana creoles in the 1840s. Very lush, brings history to live in a vibrant, colorful way. Anne Rice, whom I had only known from her erotic vampire series, proved to me that she can actually write a novel with charac ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of all time! This epic story of freed Blacks in New Orleans living in both a black and white world enveloped my heart, and is still a part of me years later.
Jan 07, 2011 Jenn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Long and rambling. Not really my taste in books. The writing was amazing and so were the characters. I'm just not much for conversation based plots.
Maureen Prindiville
not your typical Anne Rice book - no vampires. If you like historical fiction, this is an interesting read - Set in Pre-Civil War New Orleans.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Fix Author 2 27 Mar 18, 2012 08:57PM  
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Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold near ...more
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“When you find out there is no ultimate good and evil in which you can place your faith, the world does not fall apart at the seams. It simply means that every decision is more difficult, more critical, because you are creating the good and evil yourself and they are very real.” 29 likes
“Nothing was anything until someone defined it. Nothing was inevitable. Nothing was inviolate. Everything existed, perhaps, by the act of faith, and we were always in the midst of creating our world, complete with the trappings of tradition that was nothing more than an invention like all the rest.” 0 likes
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