The Turner House
Just finished reading a wonderful novel by Angela Flournoy entitled ‘The Turner House.’ This is a fascinating insight into an African American family of 13 siblings and how the eldest son, Cha Cha, handles being the head of the family after their father passes away while also dealing with the sighting of a spirit or ‘haint’ when he was younger and again at a later point in his life. But that is the question throughout the novel -what was he seeing or did he really see anything at all? Cha Cha and his brothers and sisters all have to deal with various things in life, including the truth about their father, accepting their mother’s illness, and possible loss of their home place, The Turner House.
So many issues are addressed in this novel, from racism, religious beliefs, addiction, love, sadness, anger, etc. It runs the gamut but one topic in particular is also touched on that carries throughout as a central theme – and I paraphrase this from something I read, ‘It’s one of many moments Flournoy takes to explore black families’ perspectives on acknowledging and managing mental health challenges.’ It is very interesting how this is addressed and it leaves the reader deciding for themselves – in my opinion – what the outcome is.
This is a somewhat long novel but each character is so well developed that you become engrossed in their lives. I loved getting into the background of each, especially that of the matriarch of the family, Viola, and how she and her husband raised their kids.
Some of the great quotes from this novel that touched me are below. I loved this novel and definitely recommend it.