Finished my first RIP read last night. It sort of feels like cheating to say that, as I’d started it before the official begin date and only had the last 80-some pages to go. But it was such a wonderful, and wonderfully RIP-ish, book that I just have to say a few words about it.
The Between by Tananarive Due.
I loved this book. Even more than I thought I might. But why did I love this book? And what makes it a RIP-worthy book?
*The first lines immediately had me intrigued:
Hilton was seven when his grandmother died, and it was a bad time. But it was worse when she died again.
*Due’s writing. She writes in the way that I love best, though I’m not quite sure how to describe. Her writing is down-to-earth and in few words paints a perfect picture in my mind. There’s a beauty to it that never feels like she’s trying too hard.
*The adept mix of genres. The book takes place 30 years after the events of those first lines. Hilton is married and father to two awesome kids. Dede, his wife, is the first black judge in Dade County. Soon after her election, she begins receiving gut-wrenchingly horrid racist letters threatening her family. (Here we have the mystery/detective story.) Hilton begins having extreme nightmares, though he can never remember the specifics, after these threatening letters begin arriving. There are supernatural elements at play, and while Hilton begins to suspect this, those around him simply think he’s losing his grip on reality. (Here we have the supernatural horror story.) But what I think best of all, is the way Due slowly leads us down this path, building suspense, leaving us wondering what is real and what is surreal. (Here we have the psychological thriller.) These three elements are woven exquisitely, seamlessly together…and it made for a perfectly unsettling read.
*There were tears. And what can I say, I always give points to a book that can make me cry. Okay, it’s not all that hard to make me cry, but still…
The only thing I’d previously read by Tananarive Due was a short story titled “The Lake” (which is also very RIP-appropriate). I pretty much fell in love with her storytelling with that one short story. I think The Between pretty much cemented that love. There’s a strong possibility that I’ll be reading the first of her African Immortals series, My Soul to Keep, for RIP XI as well.
Peril the First: 1/4