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My Mother's House: A novel

Tekijä: Francesca Momplaisir

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
653399,418 (3.5)5
"A literary thriller about the complex underbelly of the immigrant American dream--the triumphs and failure, mundane and aberrant--and the dangerous ripple effect one person's damages can have on the lives of others, all told by an unexpected narrator: a house that has held unspeakable horrors. When Lucien flees Haiti with his wife, Marie-Ange, and their three children to New York City's South Ozone Park, he does so in the hopes of finding reinvention, wealth, and comfort. He buys a rundown house in a community that is quickly changing from one filled with Italian mobsters to one attracting American Dream seekers like himself, and begins life anew. Lucien and Marie-Ange call their home La Kaye, "my mother's house," and it becomes a center for their fellow immigrants to find peace, a good meal, and legal help. But as a severely emotionally damaged man emigrating from a country whose evils he knows to one whose evils he doesn't, Lucien soon falls back into his worst habits and impulses, with his new house acting as the backdrop for his lasciviousness. What Lucien can't even begin to fathom is that La Kaye is always watching and passing judgement, and everything comes to a head on the day that it decides to stop the sins inside. But La Kaye doesn't even know the darkest secrets held within its walls, and only after it has set itself aflame does it hear the frightened whispers that will reveal Lucien's ultimate evil" -- Provided by publisher.… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 5 mainintaa

näyttää 3/3
It feels weird to give this four stars because it was such a brutal read. Seriously, there might be a trigger warning for every chapter. But the way the story unfolds was so fantastic. I approached this book thinking it was going to be horror--specifically, a haunted house plot--and it went somewhere altogether different, taking more of a thriller route (though the fantastical house element was still very present). As I was telling a friend yesterday, it takes this boiling-frog tactic, peeling back layer upon layer of atrocity until you're in it, and you don't want to abandon it because you want to make sure characters make it out OK (I don't think I could have stomached this otherwise because it is just so grim). This was also quite an indictment of America's immigration system and anti-Blackness on the whole--while those themes are ever-present, I also feel they have a certain subtlety about them. I will echo other reviewers and say that I would have welcomed more character development, particularly with Lucien, but on the whole, I feel like I got a good perspective given the POVs (and those POVs--dang!).

I am ready for something a little lighter... ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
I read this as a combination of audiobook and book-book, which helped me get the pronunciations. This novel is a complex look at immigrant life, race, power, and the different ways people control each other. And one of the narrators is a sentient house. It's pretty unpleasant, subject-matter-wise, and I probably wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't really wanted to find out what happened. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Apr 9, 2021 |
This is the story of a house's death. La Kay is a middle class house surrounded by other middle class houses that were built for returning GIs on an area near JFK Airport. South Ozone Park became a neighborhood of immigrants, the latest ones being from the Caribbean. Lucien and his wife buy the house and raise their three daughters there, while operating as an informal gathering place for new Haitian arrivals to find help getting settled, a card game and a taste of home. But Lucien's friendly demeanor hides an inner rot. He's done terrible things. Things the house finds unendurable and which lead it to decide to burn itself down in order to stop him. But Lucien, now an elderly man in poor health, a widower estranged from his children, has one more secret he's kept hidden from the house. And it's far worse than all of the other things he's done.

This is an impossible book to pigeon-hole. It's horror, sure. It's also a novel about immigrants struggling to make lives for themselves and those that prey on them. There's a grim realism here, but also a supernatural element that interact uneasily with each other. There are tonal shifts between the chapters, the ones centering Lucian have a black humor with a touch of slapstick that contrasts with the grim realism of another character's sections, which in turn are jarringly different than the magic realism of the sentient house.

Momplaisir is a talented writer, one who can evoke strong emotions or create a vivid image in very few words. This skill made this novel much harder to read than had her writing been just serviceable. The author is never overly graphic, nor does she linger on the act of harming being done. But she does dig into the emotions and harm being experienced by the victims and it makes for hard reading. It also made it difficult to appreciate Lucien's chapters or to enter in to what the house is experiencing. It's as though three very different novels about the same events were mashed together. Each element on its own is very good, but they lose something as a group. ( )
1 ääni RidgewayGirl | Apr 30, 2020 |
näyttää 3/3
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"A literary thriller about the complex underbelly of the immigrant American dream--the triumphs and failure, mundane and aberrant--and the dangerous ripple effect one person's damages can have on the lives of others, all told by an unexpected narrator: a house that has held unspeakable horrors. When Lucien flees Haiti with his wife, Marie-Ange, and their three children to New York City's South Ozone Park, he does so in the hopes of finding reinvention, wealth, and comfort. He buys a rundown house in a community that is quickly changing from one filled with Italian mobsters to one attracting American Dream seekers like himself, and begins life anew. Lucien and Marie-Ange call their home La Kaye, "my mother's house," and it becomes a center for their fellow immigrants to find peace, a good meal, and legal help. But as a severely emotionally damaged man emigrating from a country whose evils he knows to one whose evils he doesn't, Lucien soon falls back into his worst habits and impulses, with his new house acting as the backdrop for his lasciviousness. What Lucien can't even begin to fathom is that La Kaye is always watching and passing judgement, and everything comes to a head on the day that it decides to stop the sins inside. But La Kaye doesn't even know the darkest secrets held within its walls, and only after it has set itself aflame does it hear the frightened whispers that will reveal Lucien's ultimate evil" -- Provided by publisher.

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