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The good house : a novel
Tananarive Due
Adult Fiction DUE

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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. (Sept. 1) Forecast: A high-profile African-American female writer, Due (who's married to SF author Steven Barnes) deals with a rare theme in the horror genre-the contemporary black experience in America. Her last novel, The Living Blood (2001), won an American Book Award. With another novel, My Soul to Keep (1997), under film development, plus a six-city author tour for her latest, Due is due for big sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Horror author Due (My Soul To Keep; Living Blood) brings voodoo to the fictional town of Sacajawea, WA, in a cleverly plotted tale of possession and magic gone awry. When Angela revisits the Toussaint family mansion with her teenage son, Corey, her heart is fixed on a reunion with her estranged husband. Corey's aversion to the town, his trouble with local racist kids, and his sudden preoccupation with magic go unnoticed by both parents. The increasing power of an ancient evil accidentally released years ago by Angela's deceased mambo grandmother begins to overtake the house, leaving muddy traces and making eerie noises in the plumbing. When Corey and his friend dabble in voodoo rites, a baka possesses Corey, changing his personality and eventually leading to his suicide. Unleashed into the world, the baka attacks others in the community with disastrous results. Only Angela, who has spent three months in a mental hospital following Corey's death, can perform the cleansing rituals that will heal the rift between her family and the gods. But can she fight the demonic powers allied against her? A weak ending somewhat mars this great, old-fashioned, haunted-house story, but libraries should purchase for popular collections.-Jennifer Baker, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Angela Toussaint
African American
Spending the summer at the family mansion with her teenaged son.

Age: Teenager
African American
Angela and Tariq's son.

Tariq Hill
African American
Angela's ex-husband; Corey's father.

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