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Centenary Rhodes is an old soul with a well-traveled name, but she doesn't know this yet.
Growing up in southern Appalachia wasn’t easy, so Cent left home as soon as she could, but the post-collegiate happiness she’d expected has never occurred. She can’t find a decent date, much less find that special someone and, after losing her job in a corporate downsize, she’s struggling to meet her most basic needs. Her car has been repossessed, her bills are piling up, and her questionable North Chicago neighborhood is dangerous to navigate.
Returning home to Hare Creek, Tennessee, never crosses Cent’s mind until her Great Aunt Tess contacts her with an offer she can’t refuse. The family’s southern Appalachian homestead must be sold, and Aunt Tess needs someone to clean it up. Cent will have access to Aunt Tess’ garden and truck and can live on the homestead rent-free for as long as it takes. A part-time job is waiting for her as well.
It’s a chance to solve some of Cent’s financial woes, but will her return be enough when evil sets its sights on Embreeville Mountain and the homestead?
Cleaning House is a carefully woven Appalachian tapestry of granny magic, haints, elementals, and the fantastic diversity of the human condition - served with a delicious side of fries and a generous quart of peach moonshine.
Contains LGBTQ+ characters across the spectrum and a non-binary/enby protagonist.
What listeners say about Cleaning House
Lots of positive things but long-winded
Cool main characters, interesting setting, underlying message of acceptance – all things I like. And yet this story was a bit slow and repetitive for me. Let’s start with Cent. She’s struggling in the big city, working two part-time minimum wage jobs. She once had an awesome job but when she lost it, she found herself drowning in debt. Now her family needs her back home. Aunt Tess and her cousin Aubrey both ask her to return but it’s her neighbor who gives her the final push to get home. Back home, Cent has to confront her past and certain aspects of herself she hasn’t fully accepted. This is where the story started to drag a little for me. At first, it was exciting to meet Stone, a childhood friend and magical entity. There’s this reincarnation aspect to the story and Cent must remember her past lives to come into full control of her paranormal abilities. The first flash back or three were interesting, but then it gets repetitive. Cent (and sometimes Stone) are going over and over the same thing again and again. The message of acceptance, while a great one, is on repeat throughout this story despite the changes to scenery. I went into this tale expecting an urban fantasy story and basically got a romance with a little bit of magic. The story does have depth but romance in general is not my cup of tea. The repetition didn’t help either. There wasn’t much action for most of the story, but a lot of cuddling and talking about acceptance in one form or another. 3/5 stars. The Narration: Alex Riley did an OK job. Riley attempted unique voices for all characters but didn’t always pull it off. The ladies sounded like ladies and the gents like gents and the non-binary folks as either or neither (as dictated by the text). Riley attempted regional accents for the various characters and sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn’t. The pacing was a little slow for the first half but this smoothed out with the majority of the book. There were no tech issues with the recording. 4/5 stars. I received a free copy of this book. My opinions are 100% my own.