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My Soul to Keep (African Immortals series) Paperback – April 8, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the African Immortals Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tananarive Due is intrigued by how unfolding timelines and alternate destinies impinge on people's lives. "How frightening it is," she writes, "when fate is at liberty to take over what will has begun." As in her absorbing first novel, The Between, My Soul to Keep is about what happens when the domestic joy of a middle-class African American family (in this story, he's a jazz scholar, she's a reporter, and they have a 5-year-old daughter) is shattered by supernatural forces and memories of events long past. The story is deeply involving because of the characters' appeal, and suspenseful because the loving husband (who turns out to be a 500-year-old immortal) is so alien, he's utterly unpredictable. The passages recalling the husband's experiences as a slave in the American South in the 1800s are especially gripping. It's a melodramatic approach to dark fantasy, but it works well. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?From the beginning, Jessica knows that David is different, but life with him seems perfect. With the birth of their daughter, life should be blissful. However, his ageless face and his perfect skin cause her investigative-reporter instincts to start questioning. Also, his lack of interest in the events of her life and work cause her to doubt the completeness of their marriage. By chance, a newspaper story Jessica writes on elder care evolves into a book proposal. Research into one of the cases leads mysteriously to David?her David. As the story develops, Jessica learns the truth about her husband and the choice he made so many centuries ago. David sold his soul for eternal life on Earth. He tells her he is not David, but Dawit, an immortal. Now he is offering her the same choice, against the doctrine of this secret society of believers. Readers are introduced to their world before Jessica discovers the truth. Present-day human interaction and the ways of the immortals are woven together with imagination and suspense. Traditional religious values, exhibited by Jessica's family, add another dimension to the plot and impact on the woman's reaction when she learns the truth. Those familiar with Anne Rice's novels will be instantly drawn into the world of Dawit and the society created by the immortals.?Beth Devers, Elmhurst Public Library, IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: African Immortals series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (April 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006105366X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061053665
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Denise M. on September 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story of an immortal who gets swept away with the lives of mortals and desires to maintain the love affection and closeness he has with those individuals. David aka Dawit is an African/ African American who has inhabited this earth for the past 500 years. He has had many lives, many experiences, many wives and many children. However, whenever the powers have told him to leave his life amongst mortals, he has done so without reservation.
However, along comes his wife Jessica and the Kira, the daughter they share and his life changes based on his sense of love and devotion to these 2 people. David aka Dawit's blood is everlasting and once infused into the body of mortals, accompanyed by the Ritual of Life, individuals live forever. Although Dawit is sworn to secrecy, his love for his wife causes him to break the covenant and risk the life not only of himself but his family as well. It is with his blood that he attemtps to ensure that his new wife and child have everlasting life.
Although the character of Dawit is somewhat odd and sinister, he has redeeming qualities based on his sacrifice in the name of Jessica and Kira. It almost makes the acts he commits during the book seem OK. In an odd way, this is the story about what a person will do in the name of love.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and it had a very interesting religious twist re: the blood of Christ. This author is very talented. I have read all three of her novels and each one is very well written. However, her novels show a great deal of versatility, each with a completely different subject yet each beautifully well written. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
My Soul To Keep (MSTK) by Tananarive Due is one of the best books that I've Read in 2000! This book was just awesome and included all of the elements of a good read. MSTK was well written, scripted with a vivid imagination and creativity and included a strong storyline, great character development along with cliff hanging plot twists and turns. I must digress for a moment and admit that I had MSTK on my "To Read List" for two years but was a little reluctant to read it because of the genre. Once I committed myself to reading MSTK, I found myself really getting into this book and the storyline; I ravenously turned the pages and became so all consumed that I didn't want to put the book down. MSTK engrosses you in the tale of David/Dawit the immortal who will do whatever is necessary to maintain his family, the love of his life wife Jessica, and Kira his young daughter. The plot grabbed me from the beginning as Ms. Due had a wonderful way of telling the story and taking one back into time. Once Ms. Due had your attention she took you back periodically to help you understand How Dawit/became David. I felt that I was actually back in the various timeperiods depicted in the book and actually waiting to travel back to present day. Due weaves Past with Present in the telling of MSTK and in doing so she provides the reader with enough background information to keep the reader on the edge of the seat while adding depth and giving substance to the storyline. MSTK keeps the reader fully immersed and satiated until you have finished the last page. There is so much to absorb and enjoy in MSTK that no one can really tell you about it; MSTK is a book that you must experience in order to receive the full scope, the full meaning of the story. I plan to read MSTK again...Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I'm an avid reader and I enjoy a good science-fiction more than anything else. When I stumbled across this book in 1998, purely by luck, I was not prepared for the ride it took me on. Ms. Due has earned her place among the ranks of Steven King and Spielberg. Since 1998 I've read this book twice -- and I'm not normally a person who reads a book more than once, but this story grabs you, takes you to a another place altogether and you'll never in your life forget the main character, Dawit (or Daud, or David-just one of his many names). This book leaves you hoping that just once this could be true, that there really could be people out there like Dawit and if you're really fortunate, maybe one day you'll meet one. I sincerely hope, as I've been hoping since '98, that Ms. Due will do a sequel. It will be well worth it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that while you read your eyes may be burning, you know you have to get up at 5:30 am the next morning and you still have to do some chores around the house, but you just DON'T CARE. There is nothing that could tear that book from my hands. This is my first book by this author and I can't even pronounce her name correctly, but I am a fan for life.
The book started off with a sense of mystery and suspence. Things on the surface seemed okay, but I knew, as anyone who reads this book will know, that things are just not as they seem. Then Tananarive took me on the ride of my life. I wanted so much to hate Dawit and I just couldn't. I wanted Jessica to get away from him and then I wanted her to stay with him forever. "Forgive him, he loves you!" I screamed and cried. Why won't these people listen to me. Dawit is an immortal who has lived for over 500 years when we meet him. Jessica is a reporter with a loving family. When a story she's working on leads her to find out about Dawit and who he is, especially how he fits into her life, all hell breaks loose. This book takes the reader, especially me, on an emotional roller coaster. There were times when I had to put the book down saying that I just can't take it anymore, but it wouldn't be ten seconds before I picked it up again.
Tananarive made every character so real that I couldn't help but care for each of their well being. Another great characteristic of her writing is that I never wanted to skip part because they were boring. I may have wanted to skip ahead to see what would happen, but never because a part was too boring or too wordy.
In summing up my review, I really don't want to say anything that will give away the story or plot, but this story reminded me of Octavia Butler's work.
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