Cable has written a really good novel that I enjoyed. The "Grandissimes" is a realistic story of race and social status in New Orleans immediately following the Louisiana Purchase (1803). This novel is difficult to read because of the sub-plots and Creole language the author uses. The “Grandissimes” tells about the adventures and romances of various members of the Grandissime family—“black, white, mixed-race, rich and poor alike. The story begins when Honoré Grandissime, the head of the white branch of this powerful New Orleans clan, takes in Joseph Frowenfeld, a young man from Philadelphia whose entire family has died from yellow fever.” Honoré's conversations with Joseph about the New Orleans caste system shed light on the dilemmas at the center of the novel. Honoré finds himself caught between an idealistic Joseph, who advocates sweeping social reforms that would end slavery but essentially erase Creole culture, and his prideful uncle Agricola Fusilier, who holds onto a racist past in order to preserve the Grandissime way of life. Honoré wants to establish a business partnership with his quadroon half brother (also called Honoré) and do right by Aurora Nancanou, who was widowed and rendered destitute when Agricola murdered her husband over a gambling dispute. Yet his decisions regarding this tarnished family history are further complicated by his secret love for Aurora.