In The Good House
, acclaimed novelist Tananarive Due enters classic Stephen King territory. Her novel, set in a small Northern town, centers on a haunted house under a deadly curse. But don't let the comparison scare you: This dark, imaginative, skillfully written page-turner is a novel only Tananarive Due could write.
Early in the Twentieth Century, a powerful voodoo priestess followed her guiding spirit from New Orleans to a small town in Washington State. But in pride and anger, Marie Toussaint unleashed a new--and very different--spirit. Now, ignorant of both her heritage and the curse, Angela Toussaint returns to her dead Grandmother Marie's house, seeking to heal her fractured relationships with her son and her husband. But the malicious spirit wishes only the destruction of the Toussaints; and as it did in her grandmother's day, it inflicts horrific death and destruction upon the isolated town. Soon Angela has lost almost everyone she loves; and she must somehow uncover the secrets of her unknown heritage if she is to have a prayer of saving her true love--and her own soul.
Tananarive Due has written the unconventional vampire novels My Soul to Keep and its sequel, The Living Blood; The Black Rose (a finalist for the NAACP Image Award); and The Between (a Bram Stoker Award nominee). With Dave Barry, Edna Buchanan, Carl Hiassen, Elmore Leonard, and eight others, Due is coauthor of Naked Came the Manatee. --Cynthia Ward
From Publishers Weekly
Using elements of the traditional haunted house story, Due (The Living Blood) constructs an ambitious supernatural thriller reinforced by themes of family ties, racial identity and moral responsibility. The Good House in Sacajawea, Wash., has belonged to four generations of the Toussaint family, but current scion Angela Toussaint hopes to sell it. Originally the home of her beloved grandmere Marie, who used vodou to heal the sick, the house has dispensed mostly pain to Angela, including the suicide of her mother when she was a child and the death of her son, Corey, who shot himself in the basement with a gun belonging to his father, Tariq. Angela's planned final visit dovetails with tragic incidents in town suggesting that a malignant force linked to the house is revving up. Then she discovers that Corey stumbled upon Marie's magic tools, and that, in a forgotten incident, Marie abused her healing powers to avenge an act of racism. Meanwhile, Tariq, who has become a demon incarnate under the house's influence, hastens to Washington for a showdown with his estranged wife. Due handles the potentially unwieldy elements of her novel with confidence, cross-cutting smoothly from past to present, introducing revelatory facts that alter the interpretation of earlier scenes and interjecting powerfully orchestrated moments of supernatural horror that sustain the tale's momentum. An ending that seems forced by an excess of sympathy for her characters is the only misstep in this haunting tale from a writer who grows better with each book.
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