The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.
A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.
I’ve officially shelved Lovecraft county next to Handmaids Tale for the scariest books I’ve ever read. At least for that first story. Whoa!
Random Thoughts, things the book referenced and things I learned:
- Black Wallstreet is referenced. I’m from Oklahoma, and it still angers me that this was never taught to me in elementary, junior high, or high school.
- The story relies heavily on the African American Safe Travel guide, which my hubby calls the green book.
- Prince hall free masons are also mentioned. Prince hall was an actual person
- Jim Crow
- Sundown towns
- Realtors/realists. Realists were black realtors. black people weren’t allowed to be realtors back in the day.
- The story mentions an exslave with a vivid memory and how she would write things down to help her get them out of her head and get resolved. I’ve only seen white peoples who could do this.It was cool to see a black character with that ability.
- Lovecraft Country is not own voices, but I couldn’t tell. It felt authentic.
- The author obviously did a lot of research, but it felt natural. I loved how I was learning while completely engrossed in the stories.
- Some of the best characters I’ve read in a long time. Atticus, Leticia, George and montrus. Great Characters.
- I cried like a baby when it got the story centered around the Tulsa riots. The pain in the story was as visceral as Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
- Reminded me of my own Urban Horror Black Beauty. I’m still waiting for Jordan Peele to get at me about making Black Beauty into a movie.