Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Haint No Stopping Us Now: The Turner House
The Turners, Viola and Francis, have 13 children and raise them in Detroit. As the book opens, Viola is getting up in age and losing her independence. The Turners' house sits empty in a crumbling neighborhood amidst rising crime.
Cha Cha, the oldest of the Turner kids takes care of everything whether his siblings always appreciate that or not. He and his wife Tina take care of his mother, and when it's time to decide what to do with the family home, Cha Cha is not so fond of being the patriarch.
The book bounces around from various perspectives: Cha Cha, dealing with the fallout from an accident at his job, seeing a therapist, and haunted by a haint, or restless spirit; Lelah, the youngest of the Turner siblings, newly evicted with a gambling addiction; Troy, a police officer who resents Cha Cha; Viola and Francis when they were young, separated by distance, struggling, and Cha Cha was the only child.
My favorite thing about this book was the narrative voice. It felt comfortable, easy to settle in, and the individual characters, as well as the setting, were vivid. It was quirky, charming, but there were also a lot of heavier themes at play. The supernatural element, as well as the rotating perspectives, really kept this one moving, and while I usually don't like rotating narrators, this one suited me just fine.
By the end, it did buckle a bit. While I continued to love all of the wonder things I mentioned above, it got cluttered. I think it could've been more cohesive, even if it had to be a little longer to flesh out some of the latter chapters.
Angela Flournoy is a formidable voice, and even though this book let me down just the tiniest bit at the end, I'll read anything she writes.