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The Resource The Turner house, Angela Flournoy

The Turner house, Angela Flournoy

Label
The Turner house
Title
The Turner house
Statement of responsibility
Angela Flournoy
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. Already praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving" and "un-putdownable," The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home"--
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • BCALA Literary Award for First Novelist, 2016.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2015
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street on Detroit’s East Side for more than 50 years. The neighborhood has fallen into disrepair, and the mortgage on the family home is under water. The patriarch has long been dead, and Viola, the matriarch, is ill and has moved in with her oldest son, Cha-Cha, who feels the full burden of being both father and brother to his 12 rambunctious, demanding siblings. And the siblings are having yet another vehement argument, this time about whether to sell their family home or pay off the mortgage. Meanwhile, Lelah, the youngest, is evicted from her apartment due to gambling debts and has surreptitiously moved into the old homestead, now surrounded by abandoned lots. In this wonderfully lively debut novel, Flournoy tells the story of a complicated family, stepping back in time to show the parents’ early married days in the 1940s, their move north to Detroit from the rural South, and how their children each experienced a different version of the neighborhood, which comes to symbolize both the hopes and dashed dreams of Detroit’s lower-middle-class blacks. Encompassing a multitude of themes, including aging and parenthood, this is a compelling read that is funny and moving in equal measure. -- Wilkinson, Joanne (Reviewed 02-15-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 12, p33)
  • /* Starred Review */ Flounoy’s debut is a lively, thoroughly engaging family saga with a cast of fully realized characters. Francis and Viola Turner and their 13 children have lived in a house on Detroit’s East Side for more than 50 years. In its prime, Yarrow Street was a comfortable haven for black working-class homeowners. In 2008, after Detroit’s long economic depression, Francis has died and Viola is about to lose the house, the value of which has declined to less than the owed mortgage payments, and the siblings are faced with a difficult decision about the house’s fate. Flournoy focuses on three of the Turner siblings—Cha-Cha, the eldest son, who drove an 18-wheeler carrying Chryslers before an accident took him off the road; Troy, the youngest son, a policeman with an ambitious, illegal plan; and Lelah, the unstable youngest daughter, who has a gambling addiction. In addition to the pressing financial issue regarding their family home, the plot touches on the moral, emotional, marital, and psychological problems that affect the siblings. Flournoy evokes the intricacies of domestic situations and sibling relationships, depicting how each of the Turners’ lives has been shaped by the social history of their generation. She handles time and place with a veteran’s ease as the narrative swings between decades, at times leaping back to the 1940s. A family secret, which involves a “haint” (or ghost) who became Francis’s nemesis—perhaps real, perhaps just a superstition—appears many years later to haunt Cha-Cha. Readers may be reminded of Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie , but Flournoy puts her own distinctive stamp on this absorbing narrative. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed January 5, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 01, p)
  • Debut novelist Flournoy limns the fate of African Americans who have seen their hard-won success in reaching the middle class in a single generation blown to bits by our continuing economic malaise. Viola and Frances Turner arrived in Detroit in 1944 as part of the Great Migration and bought a house in 1951, raising 13 children there. Now, ailing, widowed Viola must leave the house, which she discovers is worth a tenth of its mortgage. All her children converge, as past, present, and future collide. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed November 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 19, p61)
  • A complicated portrait of the modern American family emerges in Flournoy's debut novel.For the 13 Turner siblings, the house on Detroit's East Side isn't just their childhood home. It's also the crux of memories of their dead father and a link among 13 very different adults. But the house has built up debt, their ill mother, Viola, lives elsewhere, and a question hangs—what to do with the Yarrow Street house? As the children debate, the narrative divides into the perspectives of Lelah, Troy and Charlie "Cha Cha" Turner, interspersed with their father's flashbacks of surviving in gritty Detroit 60 years earlier. Cha-Cha, the oldest at 64, drives trucks for Chrysler and is recovering from an accident after a vision of a luminous ghost, which he'd last seen 40 years earlier at Yarrow, caused him to veer off the road. Meanwhile, Lelah has been evicted from her apartment due to a gambling addiction and takes up residence in the now-abandoned house. And Troy, a disillusioned policeman, wants to illegally short sell the house to his sometime girlfriend. As the story progresses, the siblings' dilemmas become increasingly knotty. Lelah's roulette addiction, evocatively described—"the chips looked like candy. Pastel, melt-away things that didn't make sense to save"—worsens; Cha-Cha is visited by the ghost, dredging up ugly childhood memories; and Troy tries to con Viola into selling the house. Flournoy ramps up the suspense until, one night, the three are all drawn to Yarrow Street, leading to a fight with intractable results. Flournoy's strength lies in her meticulous examination of each character's inner life. Lelah, who uses gambling as a balm for her fractured relationship with her daughter, is an especially sympathetic character—she seeks "proof that she could be cherished by someone, if only for a while." Flournoy's writing is precise and sharp, and despite several loose ends—Troy doesn't experience significant emotional change by the book's end, and the house's fate remains unclear—the novel draws readers to the Turner family almost magnetically. A talent to watch.(Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2015)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10409863
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Flournoy, Angela
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3606.L6813
LC item number
T87 2015
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
African American families
Target audience
adult
Label
The Turner house, Angela Flournoy
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
341 pages
Isbn
9780544303164
Lccn
2014034423
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 885225314
  • (OCoLC)885225314
Label
The Turner house, Angela Flournoy
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
341 pages
Isbn
9780544303164
Lccn
2014034423
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 885225314
  • (OCoLC)885225314

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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