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The Good House By Tananarive Due

Updated on October 3, 2018
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An avid book nerd, Jennifer Branton loves to share her favorite book finds with her readers.

The Magic Of Her Line

Inheriting her grandparents house, Angela knows that the Good House has its history dating back to the early 1900's. While her grandparents' home was the only to survive the infamous mudslide of 1920 Washington, Angie always believed it had something to do with her grandmother and grandfather's magical heritage in Tananarive Due's The Good House.

Her grandmother, Marie of African Voodoo magic and her adopted grandfather, Red John of Native American heritage, the family was known among their neighbors as healers and magical practitioners selling herbs, teas, and magical items to those in need. When a neighbor comes to the door with a sick child- even though the spirits were warning Marie not to open the door; she could not let a child suffer.

The little girl, Maddie, had a terrible stomachache and a smell to her like rotting meat was curdling inside her. Even Red John begged his wife to turn this one aside, but Marie insisted that she could help the girl and placed her in the bathtub where as she chanted over her the water began to turn black as mud.

Fast forward to present day, everyone even in Angie's time knew about her grandmother trying to save the girl but everything was not right at the Good House since the event and something had embedded itself into the land.

Refusing to cast the child aside, Marie insisted on trying to rid her of the demon that resided inside, even though it became attached to the family and began to steadily take everything from them.

A Terrible Fourth Of July

Angie and her estranged husband Tariq were trying to make it work when they visited Angie's grandmother's home.

Keeping their reunion hidden from their teenage son, Corey, they met in silence in the dead of night trying to rekindle their affection for each other. It wasn't like Angie to want to be social with the neighbors, but with the insistence of Tariq they decided to throw a holiday gathering.

Not long into the party, there was a loud sound like fireworks coming from the basement and Angie didn't associate the sound with all of the screaming. She wandered towards it only to find Corey laying crooked at a weird angle on the ground. He must have been holding punch at the time as something red was working its way through his clothing and behind his head.

Angie thought back to the visions of her mother holding a gun to herself as a child and then began to scream again and again as the realization set in.

Just hours before, Corey had given her a ring of her grandmother's-engraved with powerful magical symbols that was feared lost over the last few years. He claimed that he had emailed a girl he had known and got the ring back.

A last gift to his mother as he was now dead.

Only this was part of the story.

Corey said that he had given the ring to a girl that he had liked in school years before and had emailed her to get the ring back for his mother. To Angie this seemed like a symbolic gesture and she was touched. Now that her son was gone- the victim of a suicide that made no sense to her, she wondered if more was at play as her familiar spirits began to warn her.

Strange Things In The Land

Angie instantly left her grandmother's home as soon as she could after Corey's death. Instead of law, she was representing clients in Hollywood including an upcoming actress that she had befriended.

With the convincing of Naomi, Angie is finally ready to go back to her grandmother's house. Something in her didn't want to sell the property. It was the home where he grandmother had raised her. It was where her own mother had died and now her son.

Maybe the spirits weren't ready to part with the house.

Home for only a few days, Naomi's dog goes missing and the two are reunited with an old boyfriend, Myles and his elderly mother who in her dementia has moments of clarity talking about her grandmother's days.

Sometimes the old woman also give ominous details in what seems to be the account of someone that witnessed all the death in the last few weeks.

Corey wasn't the only one that had passed so suddenly in the town.


Dealing With A Devil

Since Corey had died, something had come back from beyond.

It was tied to the land where Marie had battled and defeated the trickster once, but now anyone that had crossed onto Angie's land had gone mad.

One neighbor had walked out in front of a truck ending his life as he left his son and young foster children orphaned. Another man had drown his son with no explanation in the creek. Corey had seemed to take his own life the way that Angie's mother had.

There had to be some sort of connection.

While Angie had grown up with magical training, Corey had never been properly given an education as she had so coming across his grandmother's altars and spells, he and his friend tried a spell for finding what was lost.

Corey had asked for his grandmother's ring only to find it on the lip of the bathtub sparkling like a new penny. Sean had asked for a letter from his mother that he had torn up years before to be restored and it was found in the mailbox.

The boys realizing as the deaths began that they had raised a terrible spirit that had possessed members of the family before ever since Marie had tried to heal that child, Corey thought the only way to defeat it was to kill himself when it had taken hold of him.

Only he was very very wrong.

Tariq never knew what hit him when others began to complain of his foul odor like rotting meat coming from his pores and the doctors found no medical reason for his terrible stomach pains.



Knowing that his goal was to get to Angie at last, Tariq first killed Naomi after trying to return the dog he had taken hostage.

Getting back to the Good House after he drove from his current home in California, Tariq knew that he was losing control. And he liked it.

He needed to get back at Angie if it was the last thing he ever did. And it would be as the demon had taken over his soul and body both.

Using her upbringing, Angie is able to wield magic to defend herself in a true test of her skill in Voodoo.

The Good House is a fantastic read, although some parts can get a little draggy between the action. The pacing between the time frame of current events and what Corey was planning only added to the appeal of the book to the reader.

I really liked seeing these magical abilities written about in a way that represented pagan religions without coming out cheesy for the reader.


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