My Soul to Keep Hardcover – Jun 1997
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Tananarive Due is intrigued by how unfolding timelines and alternate destinies impinge on people's lives. "How frightening it is," she writes, "when fate is at liberty to take over what will has begun." As in her absorbing first novel, The Between, My Soul to Keep is about what happens when the domestic joy of a middle-class African American family (in this story, he's a jazz scholar, she's a reporter, and they have a 5-year-old daughter) is shattered by supernatural forces and memories of events long past. The story is deeply involving because of the characters' appeal, and suspenseful because the loving husband (who turns out to be a 500-year-old immortal) is so alien, he's utterly unpredictable. The passages recalling the husband's experiences as a slave in the American South in the 1800s are especially gripping. It's a melodramatic approach to dark fantasy, but it works well.
From School Library Journal
YA?From the beginning, Jessica knows that David is different, but life with him seems perfect. With the birth of their daughter, life should be blissful. However, his ageless face and his perfect skin cause her investigative-reporter instincts to start questioning. Also, his lack of interest in the events of her life and work cause her to doubt the completeness of their marriage. By chance, a newspaper story Jessica writes on elder care evolves into a book proposal. Research into one of the cases leads mysteriously to David?her David. As the story develops, Jessica learns the truth about her husband and the choice he made so many centuries ago. David sold his soul for eternal life on Earth. He tells her he is not David, but Dawit, an immortal. Now he is offering her the same choice, against the doctrine of this secret society of believers. Readers are introduced to their world before Jessica discovers the truth. Present-day human interaction and the ways of the immortals are woven together with imagination and suspense. Traditional religious values, exhibited by Jessica's family, add another dimension to the plot and impact on the woman's reaction when she learns the truth. Those familiar with Anne Rice's novels will be instantly drawn into the world of Dawit and the society created by the immortals.?Beth Devers, Elmhurst Public Library, IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The book started off with a sense of mystery and suspence. Things on the surface seemed okay, but I knew, as anyone who reads this book will know, that things are just not as they seem. Then Tananarive took me on the ride of my life. I wanted so much to hate Dawit and I just couldn't. I wanted Jessica to get away from him and then I wanted her to stay with him forever. "Forgive him, he loves you!" I screamed and cried. Why won't these people listen to me. Dawit is an immortal who has lived for over 500 years when we meet him. Jessica is a reporter with a loving family. When a story she's working on leads her to find out about Dawit and who he is, especially how he fits into her life, all hell breaks loose. This book takes the reader, especially me, on an emotional roller coaster. There were times when I had to put the book down saying that I just can't take it anymore, but it wouldn't be ten seconds before I picked it up again.
Tananarive made every character so real that I couldn't help but care for each of their well being. Another great characteristic of her writing is that I never wanted to skip part because they were boring. I may have wanted to skip ahead to see what would happen, but never because a part was too boring or too wordy.
In summing up my review, I really don't want to say anything that will give away the story or plot, but this story reminded me of Octavia Butler's work.Read more ›
By all outward appearance, David Wolde is the perfect husband and father. In fact, some friends of his wife, Jessica, sarcastically refer to him as "Mr. Perfect." Yet David, who is known as "Dawit" by the other members of his sect, is actually over 450 years old, an immortal who has walked and lived among the mortals for centuries. The leader of Dawit's secret sect has decided this rebelliousness has gone on for too long, and he dispatches another sect member (Dawit's former closest friend) to resolve the issue, in whatever manner necessary. David/Dawit is consumed by a multipicity of conflicting emotions and responsibilities, not the least of which is finding a way to safeguard his wife and child, particularly since this his longevity has resulted in countless repetitions of the same pattern of desertion. This time, the mortality of his mate has to be addressed.
Ms. Due writes in an uncomplicated manner but does not condescend. Her prose are straightforward without becoming mundane. She skillfully blends in passages that take you back in time to get some feeling for the "lives" Dawit has lived, but always maintains a coherent view of the story's critical path. My only concern and it is a small one, was the story ended in somewhat ambiguous fashion, which is no longer an issue since I understand a sequel is on the way.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this book in two days, couldn't put it down.
and rushed out to Marcus Books as soon as I finished it (my local bookstore to buy books "by African Americans, for... Read more
Tananarive Due is the female version of Stephen King. My Soul to Keep is a crafty tale of a secret sect of immortals that will keep their immortality a secret at all cost and have... Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by Detroit RAWSISTAZ
This was an excellent and enticing book. I can't wait to read the continuation.Published on June 13 2004
Jessica thinks she has the perfect life. She is a top reporter for a Miami newspaper. She married her handsome college professor David Wolde. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by St. Winnie-the-Pooh the Parkness
For sistah girl's new book and the movie version of these fantastic, outstanding novels! I read them sometime ago and then I went back and re-read them both and they are still as... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by Honey
This is possibly the best book I have ever read in my entire life. It's one of those books that bring you into a whole different world, and as if you are in the story. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2003 by Rania Saghir
Ms. Due did an excellent job @ telling this story - it kept me spellbound from beginning to end. A couple of times, it had me looking over my shoulder in fear! Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by T. Kenard
This author was recommended to me by an online book group and I am oh so glad that I took the recommendation! Wow, is this book suspenseful. It grows on you. Read morePublished on May 8 2003 by Kimberly M. Delaney
I had such a strong response to this book. I found myself shaking my fist, and on the verge of tears toward the end. Dawit is as selfish as he is mysterious. Read morePublished on March 27 2003 by MamiesShosho
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