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Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

This is a book that portrays African American experience within  the context of a story about family.  The book vacillates between the story of the parents, who emigrate northward from the south in the 1940's in search of a better life.  Detroit was one of the common destinations and that is where this story takes place.  The family is large, and while they have scattered some, there are still a number of siblings who are still there in the economic downturn of the twenty first century.  The house that there parents bought back when they could afford it is now worth less than they owe on it and they are conflicted about what to do about it.  They all have their own problems in addition to the ones that they share, and the story weaves all of these themes together in a wonderful way.  There is the power of family, the power of place, the effects of poverty, the culture of African Americans, the deterioration of a city, the sibling rivalries and loyalties.  It is all here, in its difficulties and its glories.  The good, the bad, and the ugly are written about beautifully and elegantly.  Excellent debut novel.

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