In 1872, French painter Edgar Degas is disillusioned by a lackluster career and haunted by the Prussian siege of Paris and the bloodbath of the Commune. Seeking personal and professional rebirth, he journeys to New Orleans, birthplace of his Creole mother. He is horrified to learn he has exchanged one city in crisis for another—post-Civil War New Orleans is a corrupt town occupied by hostile Union troops, and suffering under the heavy hand of Reconstruction. He is further shocked to find his family deeply involved in the violent struggle to reclaim political power at all costs.
Despite the chaos swirling around him, Degas sketches and paints with fervor and manages to reinvent himself and his style, from neoclassical into the emerging world of impressionism. Llewellyn traces the dangerous ascension of the master artist in his impeccably researched, richly imagined Creole Son.