The Ancestors is a trio of short stories all revolving around the theme of ancestry. The fist story by LA Banks, Ev'ry Shut Eye Ain't Sleep is the story of a man who seems to be traumatized by what he's seen in war, but we come to find out that the war he's been involved in is one of the supernatural nature and that he is the protector of the woman who is the granddaughter of a spiritual elder who has given him shelter and board in return for work at his antiques store. The young man is taught spiritual warfare from the elder and discover his true mission in this life as well as his past lives. This story had a great premise and would have probably made a great novel, but the beginning was long and involved and the ending felt rushed. This did not have the pacing of a short story and the epilogue felt like a deus ex machina in order to wrap up loose ends. I would love to have read the filled in story of how they got to that point.
The second story by Brandon Massey, The Patriarch, was great. A mystery writer from the city of Atlanta goes to visit his ancestral home in the backwoods of Mississippi with his girlfriend. He feels that there are unanswered questions about his past that he must find before he can move to the next step of his relationship and ask her to marry him. Once they journey to the "homeland" his great aunt relates to him their family history, but leaves out the story about an ancestor who could be his twin. While there he feels s if he's being called to the woods, where he meets this mysterious ancestor and finds out the truth about who he is. I thought the pacing and foreshadowing in this story was excellent, it kept me on my toes and wanting to read more. This is the first work I've read from Brandon Massey, but I downloaded two of his novels and can't wait to read them if they're anything like this.
The last story by Tananarive Due (one of my favorite authors), Ghost Summer, tells the story of a twelve year old boy who goes to visit his father's parents in the South because of his previous experiences of seeing ghosts on their land. In the midst of his ghost hunt he finds out about his parents impending divorce, as well as the existence of an unmarked burial ground. He searches with his younger sister to find the ghosts that live on this land and ends up getting more than he bargained for when he becomes a part of the ghost story. This was a riveting tale and the story of the mass graves and particularly the ghosts that the boy learns about was moving and did not end in an expected way. I really enjoyed this story and it solidified why Tananarive Due is one of my favorite authors.