These Ghosts Are Family
*An Entertainment Weekly, Millions, and LitHub Most-Anticipated Book of 2020 pick* *A Rumpus and Electric Literature Most-Anticipated Debut of 2020 pick* *A Ms. Magazine Top Feminist Book Coming Out in 2020* *A BookRiot Best Book Club Pick of 2020* *A Celadon Books Most-Anticipated Novel of 2020* *A Lily Top Book to Read by Women in 2020 Selection* *A Buzz Magazine Top New Book of the New Decade* *A She Reads Most-Anticipated Historical Fiction Pick of 2020* A transporting debut novel that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.Stanford Solomon has a shocking, thirty-year-old secret. And it’s about to change the lives of everyone around him. Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend. And now, nearing the end of his life, Stanford is about to meet his firstborn daughter, Irene Paisley, a home health aide who has unwittingly shown up for her first day of work to tend to the father she thought was dead. These Ghosts Are Family revolves around the consequences of Abel’s decision and tells the story of the Paisley family from colonial Jamaica to present day Harlem. There is Vera, whose widowhood forced her into the role of single mother. There are two daughters and a granddaughter who have never known they are related. And there are others, like the house boy who loved Vera, whose lives might have taken different courses if not for Abel Paisley’s actions. These Ghosts Are Family explores the ways each character wrestles with their ghosts and struggles to forge independent identities outside of the family and their trauma. The result is an engrossing portrait of a family and individuals caught in the sweep of history, slavery, migration, and the more personal dramas of infidelity, lost love, and regret. This electric and luminous family saga announces the arrival of a new American talent.

These Ghosts Are Family Details

TitleThese Ghosts Are Family
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN-139781982117436
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

These Ghosts Are Family Review

  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    The connection of ancestors and how the dead still effect the living is explored in the tangled web of Irene Paisley and Stanford Solomon's family. Generations of family members are navigating their life decades and centuries later based on their past ancestors. A domino effect is seen when their Jamaican family members continue to comb through secrets, history, and lineage.Each chapter goes through a story about a different family member. The multi-generational saga is weaves through different The connection of ancestors and how the dead still effect the living is explored in the tangled web of Irene Paisley and Stanford Solomon's family. Generations of family members are navigating their life decades and centuries later based on their past ancestors. A domino effect is seen when their Jamaican family members continue to comb through secrets, history, and lineage.Each chapter goes through a story about a different family member. The multi-generational saga is weaves through different time periods and different family connections. Jamaican history, plantation life for slaves, and the exploitation of women in 19th century Jamaica is explored throughout the novel as the characters try to atone with the ghosts of their past.The first chapter starts off a bit confusing. It front-loads all of the characters and many events making it hard to separate who from who and what from what. But after that short introduction, everything fell into place. The Jamaican dialogue was hard to understand sometimes, but I could figure out what was happening overall.I received an advance readers copy through Netgalley and Edelweiss. Opinions are my own.
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  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    ------------------BOOK REVIEW------------------2/3/20Did a video review of the book as well, it's a stunning debut!! ---------------AUTHOR INTERVIEW--------------- 21/2/20Had the chance to interview Maisy Card and talk about her book :)29/1/20This was an absolutely stunning read. So well put together, I'm completely blown away - would no doubt recommend this book! :)25/1/20A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy of this book. So stocked to read it!!You can find me on ------------------BOOK REVIEW------------------2/3/20Did a video review of the book as well, it's a stunning debut!! ---------------AUTHOR INTERVIEW--------------- 21/2/20Had the chance to interview Maisy Card and talk about her book :)29/1/20This was an absolutely stunning read. So well put together, I'm completely blown away - would no doubt recommend this book! :)25/1/20A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy of this book. So stocked to read it!!You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
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  • Bobbieshiann
    January 1, 1970
    The family tree assignment we had to do in elementary/middle school aint shit compared to These Ghost are Family. Here we have a book that portrays as one mans lies, betrayal, and infidelity but instead, you get caught in a whirlpool. Faking his death was only Abels way of introducing us to a family lineage that holds secrets, migration, slavery, deception, and revenge. I havent read something this brilliant in awhile. From the 1700s to this current year, Maisy Card has found a way to give us a The family tree assignment we had to do in elementary/middle school ain’t shit compared to These Ghost are Family. Here we have a book that portrays as one man’s lies, betrayal, and infidelity but instead, you get caught in a whirlpool. Faking his death was only Abel’s way of introducing us to a family lineage that holds secrets, migration, slavery, deception, and revenge. I haven’t read something this brilliant in awhile. From the 1700s to this current year, Maisy Card has found a way to give us a feel of plantation life, Jamaican culture, and the truth that the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree in any country. I am here for it! I will take feeling like the nosy neighbor who got caught and couldn’t keep her findings to herself. I felt like the towns gossip! lol. A wonderful read that I could not put down.
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  • Jamise // Spines & Vines
    January 1, 1970
    This book was interesting. Still gathering my thoughts even after a re-read. This is multi-layered novel that started off fantastic but I lost my way several times during the multitude of characters. This felt more like a collection of short stories rather than one fictional novel. I enjoyed the writing & historical fiction aspects of the novel but at times I wanted more closure from some of the stories. The last chapter still seems off to me. I feel like I'm missing something. 3.5 stars
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    What a complex story, unlike anything I have read before. Its different strands capture the very fractured lineage of many who originally called Jamaica their home. This is a tale of family lost and found, of historic racial divides, of families broken and trying to heal, of the impact of centuries of slavery in the Caribbean and of white male supremacy and its outcomes, including multitudes of children of rape.The story moves back and forth in time from contemporary New York to early 19th What a complex story, unlike anything I have read before. Its different strands capture the very fractured lineage of many who originally called Jamaica their home. This is a tale of family lost and found, of historic racial divides, of families broken and trying to heal, of the impact of centuries of slavery in the Caribbean and of white male supremacy and its outcomes, including multitudes of children of rape.The story moves back and forth in time from contemporary New York to early 19th century Jamaica, tracing relationships over those centuries, relationships that seemed to doom present-day youth to a life of limited identity and poor family relationships. Every adult appears to be hiding some facts about earlier family or to have been scarred into silence about the past. There is rebellion and rage and mental illness (or possible possession) as a result. Yes there are elements of magical presence in the story too.This is a book that I’m glad I read for it’s a view and approach that is new and foreign to my experience. I recommend it to readers who would like the challenge of a new experience in both viewpoints and style but with a subject that is very much still current.A copy of this book was provided by Simon & Schuster through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Kathryn in FL
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars for the first 85% of the book and the remaining balance of the story was not quite two stars because it read like an unrelated second story. This part seemed to have nothing to do with the novel that precedes it! More about the ending below.When I first started "These Ghosts Are Family", I was all in. I was thinking yay, another five star read! This story's primary focus is on a present day character, who grew up in Jamaica only to move to England and then started an entirely new life in 4 Stars for the first 85% of the book and the remaining balance of the story was not quite two stars because it read like an unrelated second story. This part seemed to have nothing to do with the novel that precedes it! More about the ending below.When I first started "These Ghosts Are Family", I was all in. I was thinking yay, another five star read! This story's primary focus is on a present day character, who grew up in Jamaica only to move to England and then started an entirely new life in America. It is a revealing of his life and circumstances and how it impacted various family members in Jamaica and the United States. Then about midway, we visit the plantation in Jamaica where his ancestors lived, those who were white and black and the turmoil of living in a very small place with terrible conditions and lots of secrets. There are multiple narrators that reveal events of life on the plantation just before and following the "Christmas Rebellion", where black slaves revolted throughout much of Jamaica against their white masters, overseers and their white families (many had slave families as well). This portion had some very interesting twists throughout this plot line. We eventually arrive at the present day, which becomes very ironic to the overall story. The last few chapters seem to be wholly unrelated tale of three evil demon spirits that are able to take the form of both animals and humans at will. Though interesting, I kept waiting for this to tie into the entire story and it never did. Seriously, just skip this part unless you want to read a short story featuring ghosts that are actually vampires. This is a debut novel that was very interesting and well written but the last part really disappointed me. I can't understand why a big publisher such as Simon Schuster would incorporate two tales that had little in common with one another except that it is the same community in Jamaica. Though I am at a loss here, I can only conclude that the connection was that both stories occur in the same evil place and some of the ghosts of the deceased came back to terrorize the area? Which leads to the question, why these people? They didn't harm anyone did they? I'd welcome anyone else's conclusions or insights.3/21 Additional thoughts on this story, as I consider what I just read, I really must say I didn't like this second story at the end. While I understand she wants to incorporate as much as she can about the Jamaican culture which included how superstition overshadows much of those who lived in the past (there were a lot of "duppies" (their term for ghosts) mentioned in one part of the book), I didn't care for the vampire portion. In some ways her story reminded me of Edwidge Dannicat, who I stopped reading due to heavy weight she gives to witchcraft.
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  • BookOfCinz
    January 1, 1970
    These Ghosts Are Family is Maisy Cards debut novel that features a multi-generational narration from 1700s to 2000s. These Ghosts Are Family opens with the revelation of Stanford Solomons three decade long secret- he is not who he says he is. Thirty years ago, Stanford Solomon, who is actually Abel Paisley assumed the identity of his best friend, Solomon who died during a work accident. Abel who was working in England at the time used the death of his friend as an opportunity to assume a new These Ghosts Are Family is Maisy Card’s debut novel that features a multi-generational narration from 1700s to 2000s. These Ghosts Are Family opens with the revelation of Stanford Solomon’s three decade long secret- he is not who he says he is. Thirty years ago, Stanford Solomon, who is actually Abel Paisley assumed the identity of his best friend, Solomon who died during a work accident. Abel who was working in England at the time used the death of his friend as an opportunity to assume a new identity and sever the relationship he had with his wife and children back home in Jamaica. With age and knowing he doesn’t have long to life Abel reaches out to the daughter he left back in Jamaica. Irene Paisley, a home health aide shows up to attend to a man who turns out to be the father she’s mourned all her life. I think this was a very ambitious book, in some ways it paid off and in other ways it did not. Here is what worked for me:The individual stories of the Paisley family. I felt that Card really showed in a unique way how the decision of Abel affected those around him. There was no shortage of trauma or struggle for each character due to the lack of a father figure or being raised by a single mother. I felt that Card did a great job of showcasing how we are all “haunted” in different ways by different things. The authenticity and research of the book. I loved how authentic the book felt. As a Jamaican I am always keen to read books that feel Jamaican and I felt Card did a great job of capturing all the cultural and historical nuances of Jamaica and Jamaicans.The freshness and intoxicating read. I devoured this book; I could not stop reading it. For a debut novel it was very strong and well written for the most part. I know people who are not familiar with Patois might struggle a bit but that does not take away from how great the writing is in this book. While I enjoyed the book, there are some things that did not work for me:I felt the book was not as cohesive enough and would have worked better as a short story collection. While I get the “Homegoing” reference in that we hear from one person at the beginning of the book but we don’t necessarily hear from them as the story continues with the following generation. I felt this was not as seamlessly executed as I wanted it to be. I felt the ending was very abrupt and I am still not sure what happened there. Overall, a really solid debut novel. I really enjoyed reading it and the “what did not work” really did not take away in a big way how enthralled I was with Card’s “These Ghosts Are Family”. I am so excited to read more from Card because she’s got a strong, very distinct voice that I know I will never get tired of hearing from. Full review here: http://bookofcinz.com/these-ghosts-ar... I highly recommend picking this book up
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  • Jaime
    January 1, 1970
    simonandschuster #partner | Listen, put Maisy Cards These Ghosts are Family on your radar. Put it on your TBR. Add it to your cart. Preorder it. Then read it.⠀https://www.instagram.com/p/B8PY1EnAO...It doesnt come out until March 3rd, and its about a man named Stanford Solomon holding a thirty year old secret. Stanford is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and stole another mans identity. This story revolves around the consequences of Abels decision and tells the story of the simonandschuster #partner | Listen, put Maisy Card’s These Ghosts are Family on your radar. Put it on your TBR. Add it to your cart. Preorder it. Then read it.⠀https://www.instagram.com/p/B8PY1EnAO...It doesn’t come out until March 3rd, and it’s about a man named Stanford Solomon holding a thirty year old secret. Stanford is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and stole another man’s identity. This story revolves around the consequences of Abel’s decision and tells the story of the Paisley family from colonial Jamaica to present day Harlem.⠀⠀Initially, I was interested in this one just off of the synopsis alone. Let me tell you that it didn’t prepare me for the journey that the story took me on
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    What a debut novel!After sitting with this book for about a week I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite novel of 2020 thus far. This is one of those novels that when you finished it, you have to take a moment to process the experience you've just had. This book was such an incredible plunge into all of the twists and turns that formed this family throughout the generations.Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his death and went to America to start over. The What a debut novel!After sitting with this book for about a week I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite novel of 2020 thus far. This is one of those novels that when you finished it, you have to take a moment to process the experience you've just had. This book was such an incredible plunge into all of the twists and turns that formed this family throughout the generations.Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his death and went to America to start over. The only person that knows his secret is his wife. Let me make this clear, this story is NOT about Abel alone. Abel is the baseline of where the story begins and this is a reflection of the consequences of his actions. This story has themes history, slavery, migration, infidelity, lost love, and regret as we go through each character.I was really compelled to keep turning the pages. So many characters, so many connection, this one really had my brain in overdrive. So not only a pleasurable read, it was stimulating as well. This is not a book that you should read extremely fast because you will miss something, and if you do, you may find yourself lost in the storyline. This novel really works your memory to make the connections and fit everything in place.There are portions in the book where you are unsure of who is narrating because it seems like you are on the outside of the situation just observing not necessarily experiencing. Like a fly on a wall in this case it’s a Ghost, like a family historian guiding you through it all. You will also experience some Jamaican folklore in this novel with provides an interesting twist to say the least!I loved this novel but I can also see how this will be a polarizing read. Some will love it and some will hate it. I don’t really see the in between happening.How much of your family tree do you know? Myself- not much but there are reasons that are beyond my control.Side note: If you aren’t familiar with Jamaican patois that may slow your reading experience down a bit.
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. "These Ghosts Are Family" is a fantastic novel! I decided to give this a chance even though I have a love/hate relationship with historical fiction. I must admit, this is the best I've read in that genre so far. I absolutely enjoyed every second of reading this, well expect the last chapter (got a little too magical realism for my taste). It's hard to believe this is Maisy Card's debut novel. Her writing is flawless. The prose was funny, moving, and vibrant. The characters really exploded Wow. "These Ghosts Are Family" is a fantastic novel! I decided to give this a chance even though I have a love/hate relationship with historical fiction. I must admit, this is the best I've read in that genre so far. I absolutely enjoyed every second of reading this, well expect the last chapter (got a little too magical realism for my taste). It's hard to believe this is Maisy Card's debut novel. Her writing is flawless. The prose was funny, moving, and vibrant. The characters really exploded off the page. Some people are complaining about the dialogue, but I didn't find it hard to understand. This book touches on some sensitive subject matter such as racism, enslavement, psychical and sexual abuse, abortion, drug addiction, trauma, and death. Even though the dark moments are what makes this book memorable and powerful, there's also some lighter moments that will stick with you as well. I didn't mind the non-linear format, I thought it added tension and drama to the overall story. This one took me by surprise. Such an unexpected gem. An intense and gripping family saga. Highly recommended!Thank you, Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the digital ARC.Release date: March 3, 2020
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    copy courtesy of edelweiss. Wow. Just, wow. This book was such an incredible dive into all of the twists and turns that formed this family throughout the generations. I was reading it like my life depended on it. Card transported me to a time and place I dont think Id ever have experienced otherwise. Im hoping that the longer I sit and think about this book, Ill come up with a more coherent review. But Im not above shoving it at people with jazz hands and a READ IT NOW! for good measure. copy courtesy of edelweiss. Wow. Just, wow. This book was such an incredible dive into all of the twists and turns that formed this family throughout the generations. I was reading it like my life depended on it. Card transported me to a time and place I don’t think I’d ever have experienced otherwise. I’m hoping that the longer I sit and think about this book, I’ll come up with a more coherent review. But I’m not above shoving it at people with jazz hands and a “READ IT NOW!” for good measure.
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  • Kiki
    January 1, 1970
    Well, well, well. This may be a novel I respect more than I love but I end the book impressed, thinking of confessions, our understories in nearby bushes, and Nicole Dennis-Benn talking about how we raise our little girls in fear. To which Maisy Card has answered with blood.Review at The Book Slut forthcoming.Bookstagram | Twitter
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  • Erin Glover
    January 1, 1970
    This fascinating novel about generations of Jamaican families beginning on a slave plantation in the 1800's has a little something for everyone. Along with the horrors inflicted on individual slaves, especially the rapes of slaves by the masters, there is a heroin-addicted Jamaican mother in the US, a Jamaican who fakes his own death, adultery, and ghosts. The addict's mother muses about her husband returned from the dead and her daughter's heroin addiction to the addict's daughter: "Other This fascinating novel about generations of Jamaican families beginning on a slave plantation in the 1800's has a little something for everyone. Along with the horrors inflicted on individual slaves, especially the rapes of slaves by the masters, there is a heroin-addicted Jamaican mother in the US, a Jamaican who fakes his own death, adultery, and ghosts. The addict's mother muses about her husband returned from the dead and her daughter's heroin addiction to the addict's daughter: "Other people are so desperate to make a better life that they are willing to steal one, while your mother is fine with throwing hers away." A Jamaican woman is duped by a cheating husband. "In her naivete, she thought that since this man slept with her and complained about his wife, it meant she had a chance of replacing her." There is plenty of drama in These Ghosts are Family.The disparity in treatment of whites and blacks in the West Indies is astonishing. Class distinctions between "low" whites, whites, and blacks are set in concrete. Card really drills down into racism through her treatment of a young girl adopted by the plantation owner, the girl being in fact half black, but passing for white. When she is forced to pick sides (is she black or white?) the novel takes a very thrilling turn. Card does it again when an older Jamaican woman uses one of her workers as essentially a sex slave, showing stratification and hierarchies in the black community itself.The number of characters and their relationships can become confusing. It's a good thing card puts a family tree at the beginning of the book. But even the family tree doesn't answer all the questions about how each character is related. Indeed, it appears that a couple has married not knowing they are distant cousins. The ending of the book, and the point of ghosts will require a lot of reflection. By titling subchapters "birth", "puberty", "adolescence", "death", "rebirth" we get the sense that Card is referring to the circle of life. Or is she talking about something more sinister? Are we actually reading a horror story? It's difficult to tell until you read the book, step back, and look at the work as a whole.Card has written an engaging and thrilling novel about lies and racism, with some black magic thrown in for good measure. It's important to refer back to the family tree to really figure out where she's going. Are the ghosts still haunting us today?
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  • a. a. d. wolfe
    January 1, 1970
    image via my instagram.I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of These Ghosts Are Family--thank you to Simon and Schuster. The good: This was one hell of a debut novel. The writing was raw, vivid, and strong, and kept hooked from beginning to end. I was not expecting it to be more of a collection of stories, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story spans a large chunk of time and jumps to different characters and point of views, but the writing was so clear that I was not confused image via my instagram.I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of These Ghosts Are Family--thank you to Simon and Schuster. The good: This was one hell of a debut novel. The writing was raw, vivid, and strong, and kept hooked from beginning to end. I was not expecting it to be more of a collection of stories, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story spans a large chunk of time and jumps to different characters and point of views, but the writing was so clear that I was not confused in the slightest. What I appreciated most was that each character was multi-faceted and had a distinctive voice; I truly felt that I was reading different stories. They each came to different conclusions about the concept of family and lineage. Carbon-copies they were not. The not-so-good: I took off a star because there was one character that I did not resonate with at all and I felt that their section was unnecessary. This character is not "in the family" so it feels disjointed. Some of the plot banked a little too much on luck. The "right place and the right time" thing happens more than once, which is too much. The ending also falls a bit flat and I don't feel that it ever circles back to the beginning. Final thoughts: Well written, roller-coaster of emotions, excellent read--would recommend! Thank you again to Simon and Schuster.
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  • Anissa Austin
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchanged for my honest review.I was eager to read this book as it is a most anticipated book of 2020.This is a do not finish book for me. The first part of the book is not written in first or third person. It is in a style such as introductions and events are introduced " Say you this and say you that". With this style, it is hard to understand and become connected to the book. The introduction of a book is everything and I think the author should have I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchanged for my honest review.I was eager to read this book as it is a most anticipated book of 2020.This is a do not finish book for me. The first part of the book is not written in first or third person. It is in a style such as introductions and events are introduced " Say you this and say you that". With this style, it is hard to understand and become connected to the book. The introduction of a book is everything and I think the author should have started the book out in a style that would grab readers attention.
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  • Brittany J. (BNJreads)
    January 1, 1970
    These Ghosts Are Family| Thank you BIBLIOFINDER and Simon & Schuster for the gifted copy! Book Review: Have we recovered from the goodness that is These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card? No? We need a little more time to digest all of this tea? I GET IT! I really do! When I said PREORDER PREORDER PREORDER, yall I meant it! Its about so much more than the patriarch of the family, Stanford Solomon (Abel Paisley) revealing his 35 year old secret. This book has history, culture, folklore, family These Ghosts Are Family| Thank you BIBLIOFINDER and Simon & Schuster for the gifted copy! Book Review: Have we recovered from the goodness that is These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card? No? We need a little more time to digest all of this tea? I GET IT! I really do! When I said “PREORDER PREORDER PREORDER”, y’all I meant it! It’s about so much more than the patriarch of the family, Stanford Solomon (Abel Paisley) revealing his 35 year old secret. This book has history, culture, folklore, family dysfunction as its core, racism, slavery, immigration, infidelity, loss, love, regret, selfishness and consequences of it all. We see how one person’s decision affects an entire lifeline to come after.If you haven’t already, PICK UP THIS BOOK! |OUT March 3, 2020
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  • Read In Colour
    January 1, 1970
    If you've read Bernadine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other, then you know that all of the characters in the book are loosely connected but have their own story to tell. These Ghosts Are Family follows this same formula, though I don't think I was aware of that before I started reading it. Nevertheless, the majority of the story lines and characters are fascinating, though not all are as fleshed out as others. I was intrigued by this idea of a secret, stolen identity - living as someone else for so If you've read Bernadine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other, then you know that all of the characters in the book are loosely connected but have their own story to tell. These Ghosts Are Family follows this same formula, though I don't think I was aware of that before I started reading it. Nevertheless, the majority of the story lines and characters are fascinating, though not all are as fleshed out as others. I was intrigued by this idea of a secret, stolen identity - living as someone else for so long that most people who remembered the real you have passed. And yet, the author didn't dwell on that 30 year secret for long. In some instances, I really wish she would have.Overall, These Ghosts Are Family is a really good read, but I must admit that the author lost me in the last quarter of the book. With an abrupt departure from "regular" fiction to speculative fiction, I wasn't prepared for the shift and, unfortunately, was never able to get back on track.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that tempts you to call in sick to work so you can just read it all day. I was completely engrossed in the story from the first page and the writing is exquisite. This riveting story spans several generations and occurs in at least three different countries. It is the story of a family and how the past shapes the present and future. The descriptive writing transported me to times and places I have never been. Though book deals with heavy topics such as infidelity, This is one of those books that tempts you to call in sick to work so you can just read it all day. I was completely engrossed in the story from the first page and the writing is exquisite. This riveting story spans several generations and occurs in at least three different countries. It is the story of a family and how the past shapes the present and future. The descriptive writing transported me to times and places I have never been. Though book deals with heavy topics such as infidelity, slavery, racism, and drug use, I didn't find it a depressing read. There is a large cast of characters and it was difficult to keep them all straight at times, but that did not detract from my reading experience. This ambitious debut will definitely turn out to be one of the best novels of 2020.Many thanks to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and Maisy Card for the privilege of reading an advanced digital copy of this fabulous book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    **I received a courtesy copy via Edelweiss**I think 80% of this book was excellent- truly wonderful writing, lovely character development, internal dialogue and cultural specificity. There was a chapter toward the end that I found to be a bit tedious and I generally wanted more from each section, for the characters and the interconnected narrative to be even further fleshed out. Still, I would certainly recommend this book when it becomes available for purchase.
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  • Abbie | ab_reads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThank you so much @librofm for the gifted listen of These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card! I loved this book, a perfect blend of historical fiction, family saga and a little hint of the paranormal!.I think I actually would have given this one five stars had I read a physical copy as opposed to audio. Dont get me wrong, the narration by Karl OBrian Williams was perfect, but there is a HUGE cast of characters and it bounces around many different time periods and locations so it was a 4.5 starsThank you so much @librofm for the gifted listen of These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card! I loved this book, a perfect blend of historical fiction, family saga and a little hint of the paranormal!.I think I actually would have given this one five stars had I read a physical copy as opposed to audio. Don’t get me wrong, the narration by Karl O’Brian Williams was perfect, but there is a HUGE cast of characters and it bounces around many different time periods and locations so it was a little difficult at times to hold all that information in my head just through listening. I’ve always been a visual learner so not having the dates in front of my eyes made me often forget what time we were supposed to be in..But despite that, every single storyline sucked me in. Whether it was Abel and his web of lies, Estelle and her battle against addiction, Debbie confronting the past and her slave-owning ancestors, Bernard and his illicit affair, and of course the haunting final chapter. These Ghosts Are Family tackles ghosts both figurative and literal and I thought Card did an exceptional job balancing the two..It’s a challenging read at times, with some scenes of abuse and torture, especially on the slave plantations in Jamaica, but it’s never gratuitous. Card reminds us to honour the past, to remember the sacrifices made by ancestors, or to not repeat their terrible actions..I think the decision to incorporate Caribbean folklore elements might turn a few readers off, but I loved the addition! Even if that part’s not for you, it’s still a beautifully woven historical fiction novel which I highly recommend!
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  • Mel
    January 1, 1970
    Where do I BEGIN? I'm astounded by the chops it took the incomparable Maisy Card to come up with this complex family tale. The more I think about what happened between these pages, the more I discover. Card's storytelling is that of a master. Though I initially questioned if I liked the ending since there wasn't much closure, I decided that the question was really if I understood the journey the book had taken me because there was so much to unpack. The family tree provided at the beginning came Where do I BEGIN? I'm astounded by the chops it took the incomparable Maisy Card to come up with this complex family tale. The more I think about what happened between these pages, the more I discover. Card's storytelling is that of a master. Though I initially questioned if I liked the ending since there wasn't much closure, I decided that the question was really if I understood the journey the book had taken me because there was so much to unpack. The family tree provided at the beginning came in handy.Each chapter represents a different member of the extended Paisley clan as they grew up in and fled Jamaica for either England or the US. The POVs change again and again, jumping backward and forward through time finding several characters at different life stages. At first, it seems like Abel is the protagonist and the family patriarch, but his life choices make for a much more complicated dissection of the plot.What in other books would be the big reveal, here took place in the first chapter as Abel gathers his progeny to speak his truth. He'd been living for years under an assumed name, that of a friend who died on a worksite they were working on together. The company had mistaken his friend Stanford Solomon for Abel and so the real Abel was able to walk away from the life he'd made with his first wife Vera, and ventured to the US with his new wife Adele. In near-present day NYC he reveals himself to his American-born daughter and granddaughter and his first Jamaican daughter who he was able to beckon by hiring her services as a home health aide. From there the title becomes more obvious as Caribbean superstitions and lore integrate with the realism to create a bizarre and intoxicating landscape full of betrayals and sadness. If while reading you find yourself wondering after the validity of some of the character's memories, good. If you also find yourself questioning your own sanity & understanding — all the better.
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  • Gail (The Knight Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was layered, twisty and addictive. There was no closure. Just facts and duppies 🤣 You have been warned.
  • Lindsay Loson
    January 1, 1970
    Libro.fm contacted me and gave me access to their monthly audiobooks, so I'd first like to thank them for this one! This was my first positive audiobook experience. The narration was fantastic and lent so much more to this story than if I had just read a physical copy. I really did enjoy this book, but I think it may have worked better if it had just been a short story collection. Though all of the stories inside of it are connected in one way or another, some didn't quite fit as well as they Libro.fm contacted me and gave me access to their monthly audiobooks, so I'd first like to thank them for this one! This was my first positive audiobook experience. The narration was fantastic and lent so much more to this story than if I had just read a physical copy. I really did enjoy this book, but I think it may have worked better if it had just been a short story collection. Though all of the stories inside of it are connected in one way or another, some didn't quite fit as well as they could have, and there was no real resolution to any of them. I wanted to know more about the lives of Abel's family members, and I felt like just as soon as you would learn some new, interesting information, that the gears would shift and never go back to that plot point. I think that Card is an incredibly talented writer, and makes all of these characters jump off the page, I just wished for more. I felt like there was too heavy of an emphasis on Louise and Petergaye (sp?), that could have been pared down a bit, because their story was important for the light it shed on the Paisley family's origins, but otherwise it was too long. I also was so taken aback by how it ended! There are mentions of spirits, ghosts, and demons throughout the book but then it just went full force into talk of supernatural events. And while I think it was something that needed to be included, I think that as an ending it just didn't quite work for me.
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  • Candace Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    I love a good multigenerational family saga and THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY definitely fits the bill! TGAF has a non-linear timeline that is presented in a manner that felt more like a collection of short stories than a traditional novel - which was such a welcomed experience. I was immediately connected to the characters and while you kind of jump into the family history head first, everything comes together pretty quickly.I still cant believe how much happened in less than 300 pages. It was a I love a good multigenerational family saga and THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY definitely fits the bill! TGAF has a non-linear timeline that is presented in a manner that felt more like a collection of short stories than a traditional novel - which was such a welcomed experience. I was immediately connected to the characters and while you kind of jump into the family history head first, everything comes together pretty quickly.I still can’t believe how much happened in less than 300 pages. It was a great exploration of racism, immigration, slavery, Jamaican culture, and how our choices can impact our family’s future.The ending did leave me with a few questions - I felt like I needed to re-read the final chapter or two to fully grasp what happened. That’s definitely an “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of problem, though!I am so impressed with Maisy Card’s debut novel. I will definitely pick up whatever she writes next! Also: this was so unputdownable that I definitely snuck in the audio while at work (thank you @librofm for the ALC). The narration is fantastic and I would highly recommend it as well!
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  • Briana
    January 1, 1970
    Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Simon & Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I thought that this was an okay story, I enjoyed it but it just didn't blow me away. I enjoyed the concept and found the cast of characters to be interesting and off beat but I was just never fully committed to what was happening. There wasn't really a point when I felt captivated by what was going on. I appreciated the storytelling and as someone who is Afro-Caribbean, I am interested Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Simon & Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I thought that this was an okay story, I enjoyed it but it just didn't blow me away. I enjoyed the concept and found the cast of characters to be interesting and off beat but I was just never fully committed to what was happening. There wasn't really a point when I felt captivated by what was going on. I appreciated the storytelling and as someone who is Afro-Caribbean, I am interested in reading more stories about Caribbeans. I look forward to Maisy Card's future as a novelist but These Ghosts Are Family was just kind of safe for me.
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  • Christine (Queen of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Simon & Schuster for a free arc of this title for review.Now this is a book. These Ghosts Are Family is a "save it" book - one of those books I pushed along on my tbr from week to week, waiting until I had the energy and brain space to give it its due. Because it's not a light story, and it's layered in such a way that you want to bring your focus to this title.I mean, you don't have to, but I do feel that my concentration was well-rewarded. Maisy Card's debut is "an engrossing Thank you to Simon & Schuster for a free arc of this title for review.Now this is a book. These Ghosts Are Family is a "save it" book - one of those books I pushed along on my tbr from week to week, waiting until I had the energy and brain space to give it its due. Because it's not a light story, and it's layered in such a way that you want to bring your focus to this title.I mean, you don't have to, but I do feel that my concentration was well-rewarded. Maisy Card's debut is "an engrossing portrait of a family and individuals caught in the sweep of history, slavery, migration, and the more personal dramas of infidelity, lost love, and regret." The scenes are vivid, and often haunting - after all, their ghosts are family. Triggers abound - there's pain and trauma throughout (from slavery to present-day drug use). (Each chapter differs in focus, bouncing around the family tree and back or forward in time.)Card presents an incomplete family tree at the outset of the book. There are questions of identity and origin, as in many books popular these days. But here those questions feel more pressing and insidious. I went in expecting to be focused on Abel, who steals his friend's identity. Instead I found myself hung up on the question of who's the family's true patriarch, and how did this family come to be? And how was that shaped by the atrociousness of slavery - both in the moment and for generations to come? Highly recommend reading this one with friends - there's a lot to discuss and unpack.
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  • Lauralai
    January 1, 1970
    Ive been sitting here staring at my wall for the past ten minutes trying to think of a way to describe this book. Stanford Solomon has been keeping a shocking secret for the past thirty years. He is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend in order to build a new life. Its an absolute mindfuck from there. I actually think that this is the kind of book that people should go into without much knowledge of the plot. I didnt know anything about I’ve been sitting here staring at my wall for the past ten minutes trying to think of a way to describe this book. Stanford Solomon has been keeping a shocking secret for the past thirty years. He is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend in order to build a new life. It’s an absolute mindfuck from there. I actually think that this is the kind of book that people should go into without much knowledge of the plot. I didn’t know anything about it when I picked it up, and I think that that really made the story all the more shocking and gripping. This is Maisy’s debut novel and I can say right now that I will read literally anything she puts out after this. Her writing is gripping, emotional, horrifying at times and very, very real. Please read it! 4.5 Stars
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  • amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I feel as though Im standing ankle deep in the ocean and I see a huge wave coming my way but Im rooted to the spot.Im unable to run, god help my swimming abilities, all I can do is hope it crests before it hits me fully.Nope, turns out Im going for this ride. Full speed ahead, boogie board at the ready. This is how it felt reading this book. With every turn of the page I was rolling in the water and diving into the unknown. I had a semblance of what I was getting into and upon completing it Im I feel as though I’m standing ankle deep in the ocean and I see a huge wave coming my way but I’m rooted to the spot.I’m unable to run, god help my swimming abilities, all I can do is hope it crests before it hits me fully.Nope, turns out I’m going for this ride. Full speed ahead, boogie board at the ready. This is how it felt reading this book. With every turn of the page I was rolling in the water and diving into the unknown. I had a semblance of what I was getting into and upon completing it I’m still shaken in a way.As a Black American myself I have always been interested in my family’s history and our roots. It’s harder for us to pinpoint our ancestry due to slavery and there’s also the fact that my maternal grandfather was adopted and accounts over the years get muddled. This book to me is wondrous because it’s the history of an entire bloodline and the focal point is not just one person.It showcases the ugly, the good, the humanity, and the fragility of life and family. Family isn’t perfect because people aren’t perfect. It’s downright hideous and most of the time life does not have a happy ending. It just doesn’t. These Ghosts Are Family starts with a man named Stanford Solomon who in actuality is not Stanford Solomon. He is really Abel Paisley and he faked his death years ago and stole the identity of his best friend.He is at the end of his life and is about to meet the daughter he abandoned years ago, Irene Paisley, a home health aide who has no idea what she is about to walk into.The story then spirals from Abel’s actions and tells the story from colonial Jamaica to present day Harlem.From there we trek down a family tree of this fractured family and their trauma and ghosts.I think I gave you my impression of this in the first few paragraphs but wow, this was a read.It immediately pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the very end.It’s not just the account of one person either. From Vera, Abel’s first wife, to Debbie a white distant ancestor and back to the slavery days...There are ghosts, there is love, death, and the prose is both cruel and beautiful.At the end of it all the bloodlines are muddy but clear, just like all of ours. Nothing in the world is pristine and it’s not meant to be. Maisy Card has written a phenomenal novel executed beautifully and told in the format of an intricate spider web.Each strand tells a story just waiting to be told.Thanks very much to netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC.
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  • Jessica Haider
    January 1, 1970
    A tale of a Jamaican family...this story twists back and forth through time from NYC to Jamaica, uncovering various ghosts in the family's history.At the core of the story is Abel Paisley who stole a friend's identity when the friend died on a job. By doing this, Abel abandoned his wife & family and went on to create a new life for himself. We see the ripple of this decision in the book. We go from the experience of Jamaican immigrants living in Harlem back to the time of slavery on Jamaica. A tale of a Jamaican family...this story twists back and forth through time from NYC to Jamaica, uncovering various ghosts in the family's history.At the core of the story is Abel Paisley who stole a friend's identity when the friend died on a job. By doing this, Abel abandoned his wife & family and went on to create a new life for himself. We see the ripple of this decision in the book. We go from the experience of Jamaican immigrants living in Harlem back to the time of slavery on Jamaica. This was an impressive debut novel and I will definitely keep my eye out for future books by Maisy Card.
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  • Chelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Im not entirely sure what I just read or if I really enjoyed it all that much. Most of the story was a 200 year family history filled with deceit, infidelity, racism, and abandonment. I found each story enthralling though sad, and liked how they were all loosely connected. However, the last chapter felt random and unnecessary and Im confused as to how it fit into the overall story. Definitely an odd read. I’m not entirely sure what I just read or if I really enjoyed it all that much. Most of the story was a 200 year family history filled with deceit, infidelity, racism, and abandonment. I found each story enthralling though sad, and liked how they were all loosely connected. However, the last chapter felt random and unnecessary and I’m confused as to how it fit into the overall story. Definitely an odd read.
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