The Gone Deadby Published 25 Jun 2019
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The Gone Dead Ebook Description
The Gone Dead PDF Book has good rating based on 1862 votes and 273 reviews, some of the reviews are displayed in the box below, read carefully for reference. Find other related book of "The Gone Dead" in the bottom area.
An electrifying first novel from “a riveting new voice in American fiction” (George Saunders): A young woman returns to her childhood home in the American South and uncovers secrets about her father’s life and death
Billie James’s inheritance isn’t much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day—and she hasn’t been back to the South since.
Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father’s home is unnervingly secluded; her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.
Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing debut novel about race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country.
"The Gone Dead" Reviews
Just ok. I felt there were too many extraneous characters and the plot was not very original. 2.5⭐️
Full review to follow.
I spent one long, hot summer in the Mississippi Delta back in the mid-Eighties. My Boston accent and northern roots made it impossible for me to blend in, and the fact that it was less than twenty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King was completely lost on me at the time. I was young and idealistic, and I couldn’t see or understand the ugliness where I lived or where I visited to that point in my life. While I met many lovely people and became enamored with their Southern hospitality, their gorgeous accents, the strong sense of family, and the beyond delicious food, I also saw and heard things that bring me goosebumps to this day. A sense of foreboding was my constant companion that summer.
That sense of foreboding is this book. The “mystery” feels like a jumping off point to get to the root of very serious issues. The characterization is believable with outstanding narration by Bahni Turpin that brings each character to life in a way that I’m not sure my own brain could have done had I read this. Atmospheric and sad, this debut is important in so many ways.
As soon as Billie mentions she inherited a house in the south from her grandmother, I was so worried this was going to be another The Fixer Upper or Queen Sugar. The good news: It's not! It's not about a dimwitted pretty girl from the north who got a house in the south and has men crawling all around her in the most gentlemanly of fashions.
In fact, she mows the yard at one point and gets a blister that hangs around for days and I was filled with joy.
This is more of a mystery story. Billie wants to find out how her dad, the former owner of her house, who died under mysterious circumstances when Billie was visiting as a toddler, lost his life. Was it because of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and his later fame as a black poet? Or did he really stumble, fall, and hit his head to death? And where was she during this time? Why doesn't she remember anything?
She can't ask her mom, a white lady who had met Billie's dad at a march in the 60's but to whom she did not stay married, because the woman recently died from cancer. She can ask her uncle, the dad's younger brother, but he's not giving up any information. It's up to her to find the answers to her questions and to not sweat to death while doing so because this book does not let you forget that we're in the land of heat and humidity, now.
She makes an adult connection with her cousin, Lola, and they become friends, which is pretty great. She meets up with the neighbors and gets an instacrush on the guy next door, the guy whose family used to employ her family. That's pretty not-great. She has a dog that she also inherited from her grandmother and she grows to appreciate the dog and that's really great! Honestly, though, this book should have been called Rufus! due to the amount of times she yells at that dog. And I just want to point out: how often do you read an adult book with a WoC MC who has a dog that she loves? I get upset that black people are regularly portrayed as not liking animals so I was more happy than I needed to be that Billie knew Rufus was a good boy and he loved her, too.
There were problems, though.
About ⅓ of the way in, new characters start getting chapters and I don't understand why this happened.
Harlan gets a chapter in which he explains to the reader that his parents raised him to not be a racist, that he has to be nice to everyone. Also, Billie doesn’t look black. And he wants to save a woman. He tried to save Debbie and when he comes upon Billie after she wipes out on her bike, he wants to swoop in and take care of her, too. He just needs to be validated as a man by some pretty woman, dammit!
I kind of hated this character.
Dr. Hurley gets chapters which, to me, seemed unnecessary.
In his first chapter, I felt like the disc was skipping because it was very choppy and his conversations, specifically with Billie, didn't make sense.
These different points of view muddied the story a bit, interrupting its natural flow. I did not enjoy that. But overall, I was happy with Billie, who was not a simpering potato, and the mystery of her dad's death.
In 2002 when Billie inherits the house in which her father Clifton died 30 years before, she returns to Mississippi and discovers that his death had not been as straight forward as it appeared. Clifton had been a well known black poet and was divorced from his white wife Pia. Billie was 4 when her father died. I enjoyed the dialogue and the characters, particularly Billie, her uncle Dee and her father’s girlfriend Carlotta. I also admired Billie’s dogged determination to get to the truth. It felt realistic and I was glad that the ending left loose ends. I wasn’t that crazy about the fact that the story was told in first person present tense from the points of view of 8 different characters. It made the writing feel kind of clunky. Nevertheless, I would be interested in reading more by this author. The narration by Bahni Turpin of the audio book was very good.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.