Book Reviews

The Between by Tananarive Due

The Between by Tananarive Due Book Cover

Thirty years after his grandmother dies saving him from drowning, Hilton begins to think that his time on Earth is running out. Plagued by horrific nightmares, Hilton wonders if perhaps he was not meant to survive that childhood accident, and now forces are at work to rectify the mistake.

Amazon | Goodreads

Horror After Dark Review

The Between is a story about a man on the verge of a breakdown. Is this breakdown caused by supernatural forces or is it all in his mind? Well, I’m not going to be jerk who spoils it all for you!

I bought this book years and years ago and I’m glad The Ladies of Horror Fiction finally forced me to unearth it, blow off the dust and read all of its pages. This book was their featured Community Wide Readalong and it was a good time. You should all join in on the next one.

When Hilton was seven he found his beloved Nana cold and dead on the kitchen floor. He ran to get help and when he arrived back home Nana was alive but she was never quite the same again. Many years later, Hilton is married with children and spends his work hours helping addicts get their lives back together but there is trouble brewing beneath the surface and his dreams are becoming increasingly more disturbing as the days pass. Here’s a little quote snippet that’ll either make you want to read more, make you run screaming or maybe do both!

“There’s no joy in fucking the dead.”

Still with me? If so, you need to know this is a book rife with stress, marital woes, suspense and a flawed protagonist who makes a lot of mistakes. I’ll be honest, Hilton made me a little crazy angry at times. There’s one scene where he nearly lost me because I’m not a very forgiving type when it comes to that particular way of dealing with stress so it may not bother you but it bothered me. It bothered me so much. As the story went along he grew on me and his love for his family was apparent and strong but it was touch and go there for me for a few chapters, I cannot lie.

In the end, it is a compelling read with some truly nightmarish and disturbing images and I thought it all ended exactly the way it should’ve ended. There are a lot of surprises that kept our entire group guessing and I can easily recommend it to anyone looking for a nail-biter with some chilling scenes and very strong characterization.

4 Stars

About The Author

Tananarive Due Author Photo

Tananarive Due is a former Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College (2012-2014), where she taught screenwriting, creative writing and journalism.  She also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir.  In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University.

Due’s novella “Ghost Summer,” published in the 2008 anthology The Ancestors , received the 2008 Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society, and her short fiction has appeared in best-of-the-year anthologies of science fiction and fantasy. Due is a leading voice in black speculative fiction; a paper on Due’s work recently was presented at the College Language Association (CLA) Conference.

Her first short story collection, Ghost Summer, will be published by Prime Books in June of 2015.

Due collaborates on the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series with her husband, author Steven Barnes, in partnership with actor Blair Underwood.  Due also wrote The Black Rose , a historical novel about the life of Madam C.J. Walker, based on the research of Alex Haley – and Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights , which she co-authored with her mother, the late civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due. Freedom in the Family was named 2003’s Best Civil Rights Memoir by Black Issues Book Review .  (Patricia Stephens Due took part in the nation’s first “Jail-In” in 1960, spending 49 days in jail in Tallahassee, Florida, after a sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter.)

In 2004, alongside such luminaries as Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison, Due received the “New Voice in Literature Award” at the Yari Yari Pamberi conference co-sponsored by New York University’s Institute of African-American Affairs and African Studies Program and the Organization of Women Writers of Africa.

Due has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Leeds, England, where she specialized in Nigerian literature as a Rotary Foundation Scholar.  In addition to VONA, Due has taught at the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s Writers’ Week and the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.  As a screenwriter, she is a member of the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).

Due and her husband, Steven Barnes, met at a speculative fiction conference at Clark Atlanta University in 1997.

Due lives in Southern California with Barnes and their son, Jason. Her writing blog is at www.tananarivedue.wordpress.com .  Her website is at www.tananarivedue.com .

Laurie

Scary books make everything so much better! I've been reading them since I was a wee, weird little thing and grew up with a steady diet of King, Koontz, Barker, and Brite and will read and watch anything with a hint of darkness.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *