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2020 Reading Challenge: The Good House: A Novel by Tananarive Due

By Sarah Adams Permalink

I love horror. Horror movies. Haunted houses. Ghost stories. The scarier, the better. So when a friend recommended The Good House as a good horror story I immediately picked it up. My goal for Black History Month is to only read books written by Black authors and this was the perfect fit for the Thriller category for Book Bingo. 

The home that belonged to Angela Toussaint's late grandmother is so beloved that townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington, call it the Good House. But that all changes one summer when an unexpected tragedy takes place behind its closed doors . . . and the Toussaint's family history - and future - is dramatically transformed. Angela has not returned to the Good House since her son, Corey, died there two years ago. But now, Angela is finally ready to return to her hometown and go beyond the grave to unearth the truth about Corey's death. Could it be related to a terrifying entity Angela's grandmother battled seven decades ago? And what about the other senseless calamities that Sacajawea has seen in recent years? Has Angela's grandmother, an African American woman reputed to have "powers" put a curse on the entire community? A thrilling exploration of secrets, lies, and divine inspiration, The Good House will haunt readers long after its chilling conclusion.

I want to start by saying that my biggest frustration about this book is that I'd never heard of it before. As a lover of all things horror and supernatural, you get used to loving elements of novels and movies with the expectation that the overall execution will likely be lacking. Let's face it, it's very rare that anything that can be classified as horror is exceptional. This book is one of those exceptions. The Good House had me hanging on every detail from beginning to end. African traditions, history, Vodu, and lore intertwine to create a slow building horror story that chills you to the bone. Due proves that subtle horror and mounting suspense are more psychologically thrilling than any gratuitous gore or jump scare could ever be. She also masters a feat that is almost unheard of in the horror and suspense genres, brilliant character development. The story of The Good House is told through the point of view of several characters, all of which are complex and flawed. Due managed to incorporate personal growth, complicated family dynamics, and racial tensions seamlessly into her narrative to create what should be a modern day horror classic. The Good House never got the acclaim or recognition that it deserves, but I promise you it's not by any fault in Due's writing. Read this one. You won't be disappointed.  




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