If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I LOVE multigenerational family sagas! So when I heard about Maisy Card’s debut novel THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY, I knew I had to get my hands on it!
THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY follows multiple generations of a Jamaican family as they grapple with the effects of one man’s monumental deception and secret. The kaleidoscopic story goes as far back as colonial Jamaica and extends all the way to present-day Harlem. What unfolds throughout the book is not just the personal dramas of one family but a greater picture of the history of Jamaica and effects of slavery, colonialism, racism, colorism, and migration on the Jamaican people.
There is a lot to like in this book. The writing is vivid, the characters are unique and multifaceted, and the plot is expansive and has enough twists and turns to keep you interested and wanting more. But there is just something that didn’t click for me. The opening chapters were so strong and got me totally hooked but as the book progressed it kind of fell apart. The chapters jump in time and perspective, which makes the book read more like a collection of individual stories. I normally don’t mind that but with a multigenerational family saga I like to have a more concrete narrative thread that connects it all together. Unfortunately, for me the ending fell flat and didn’t live up to it’s compelling beginning. The epic undertaking of this book is truly impressive considering it’s short length, but I think the book would have benefitted from being longer so the story and characters would have been more fully developed and explored.
For me the greatest aspect of THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY were the elements of historical fiction weaved throughout the story. After reading this, I feel that I have gained a better understanding of Jamaican history and culture. Maisy Card clearly wrote this book from her heart and own experiences, which definitely comes through on the pages! Even though I didn’t completely love the book, I found this Jamaican family saga an important story to be told and read!
** Simon and Schuster provided the book for honest review
- Title: These Ghosts Are Family
- Author: Maisy Card
- Published: March 3, 2020 (Simon and Schuster)
- Genre: historical fiction, fiction
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * * 1/2