the next good book

The Turner House

By Angela Flournoy


338 pages

The Turner House by Angela FlournoyWhat’s it about? Frances and Viola Turner left Arkansas and moved to Detroit in 1945.  For the next fifty years they raised thirteen children on Yarrow street on the East side of the city.  Frances is gone now and Viola has taken a turn for the worse.    The thirteen children will need to decide what to do with the house on Yarrow St.,  as they owe the bank more than the house is worth.  This novel fully imagines what life on the East side of Detroit was then, and what it is now. What did it make me think about? The power of family, the great migration of African-Americans from the South to industrial cities, and sadness for what many inner cities have become. Should I read it? This book has much to recommend it, but I liked it rather than loved it. Quote-“Slavery.  Did there ever exist a more annoying way to try to make a modern-day black man feel like his troubles were insignificant, that he should be satisfied with the sorry hand society dealt him.”

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