The first of Keyes' novels set in Louisiana was Crescent Carnival, which tells the story of three generations of two intertwined families. The Breckenridges are Protestants, while the Fontaines are Catholic Louisiana Creoles. The plot hinges on the way that pride and misfortune conspire with cultural and political differences to keep prospective lovers from marrying. The cycle of failure only ends when two people have the courage to defy the odds and accept their love for each other. Carnival celebrations and Mardi Gras parades form the backdrop of many scenes. Captures the social mores, Carnival season, and the French Quarter of 1940's New Orleans.
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