The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

turner-houseSet in Detroit, Michigan, The Turner House follows the Turner family, who have lived in the same house for 50 years.  There, they have raised 13 children and weathered all the crises, both large and small, that have arrived on their doorstep.  But at the novel’s opening, the recession has settled on Detroit and the house on Yarrow street is unoccupied and worth barely 10 percent of its mortgage.   As the Turner children gather to decide the fate of their childhood home, their resentments, debts, and haunted pasts converge.  A compelling family saga, The Turner House breathes life into the very floorboards on which the characters walk.

Quote:
“Humans haunt more houses than ghosts do. Men and women assign value to brick and mortar, link their identities to mortgages paid on time. On frigid winter nights, young mothers walk their fussy babies from room to room, learning where the rooms catch drafts and where the floorboards creak. In the warm damp of summer, fathers sit on porches, sometimes worried and often tired but comforted by the fact that a roof is up there providing shelter. Children smudge up walls with dirty handprints, find nooks to hide their particular treasure, or hide themselves if need be. We live and die in houses, dream of getting back to houses, take great care in considering who will inherit the houses when we’re gone.”

Author:
Angela Flournoy is an American writer whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Los Angelos Times, among others.  The Turner House is her first novel.

Published:  341 pages
Length:  2015
Set in:  Detroit, Michigan, United States

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