These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card tells the multi-generational story of a Jamaican man who fakes his own death and leaves his family behind to start a new life. The synopsis alone made me want to drop everything else I read and start this one immediately.
I want to start by applauding Card for her unique writing style. She wrote this book like it was an abstract work of art. She opened the story by throwing perspectives in-- seemingly at random-- until you get near then end where she begins to bring it together. I'm amazed that she was able to do it in a way that didn't confuse you. I find that multi-generational storytelling can get messy, but I was able to keep up completely as long as I had the complimentary illustration of the family tree to keep up with. I found the writing like an organized chaos. I've never read anything written this way before, and never knew that it was something I loved until I read this book. While not all loose ends were tied, I didn't walk away from this book feeling like I needed more information, although the end threw me for a loop I wasn't quite ready for.
In this book, we are able to see how generational curses can flow through the generations, and we can watch how they play out in the lives of each generation. Card also lightly emphasized parallels in personality down generational lines that I found quite interesting. It made me want to learn more about my own ancestors and find out where parts of my personality came from and what type of karma I received for their transgressions.
I also loved the element of folklore and the insertion of strong Jamaican culture. I was able to recognize a lot of things from my own life, as many family members of mine are Jamaican, and I was also able to learn a lot as well-- especially when it came to rituals and superstition. I"m also pretty sure I'm fully fluent in Jamaican patois now :).
I had a very hard time putting this book down. I do think this book is a must read. It discusses familial trauma, slavery, addiction, immigration, love, deceit, culture, privilege, and resilience in a way I think everyone can learn from.
This book is set to be released March 3, 2020.
Book can be purchased on pre-order from Amazon here.
Until next time,