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Publisher's Summary

A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family.

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over 50 years. Their house has seen 13 children grown and gone - and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a 10th of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts - and shapes - their family's future.

Already praised by Ayana Mathis as "utterly moving," The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures and the ways in which our families bring us home.

©2015 Angela Flournoy (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. 

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Elaine
  • Shaker Heights, OH, United States
  • 06-02-16

Fictional account of The Great Migration

For those of us who wondered what it would be like for families, communities, and individuals to leave the South and move North in mid 20thcentury,is book is a revelation. Great character development as it follows the Turner family, with 10 or 11 children over the course of 3 generations .

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • hatlanta
  • Marietta, Georgia United States
  • 11-04-15

Unacceptable narration

What didn’t you like about Adenrele Ojo’s performance?

I enjoyed the story, but the reader was awful. She emphasized the wrong words in sentences, rendering the meaning unfathomable. She especially seemed to have trouble reading a string of adjectives, always pausing in the wrong place. It's odd because she did a good job with most of the dialogue. But her ineptitude with the narrative was distracting.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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<br />Great Read

Surprisingly, the one pwrson narration is good. The storyline never gets boring. This family is imperfect but they have staying power

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • KT
  • 06-11-15

The narrator's performance made the difference.

This book may have been well written but you'd be unable to glean that based on the reading of it. The narrator was pretty bad. She read several words incorrectly and placed inflection where it shouldn't be in most of the sentences. This threw off the flow of the story and distracted me from the storyline. Unfortunate.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Just ok...

I enjoyed the story mostly because I am from Detroit and enjoyed hearing a lot of streets and landmarks called out....even if some were not pronounced correctly. Was disappointed in the ending. Others said the narration got on their nerves.... I didn't agree.... It sounded appropriate to me

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great idea, scattered execution

Fantastic to read a well-written novel that isn't about neurotic New York white people. The author is a fine stylist. Unfortunately, she needs help streamlining her story. This feels like it was based on a real family, and that the author felt obligated to give every character its due. The story would have been more powerful with fewer people. I look forward to the next book from a more seasoned writer.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Good but unresolved

The Turner House revolves around a large family - thirteen children - and their trials and tribulations to grow up and thrive in Detroit, a city struggling just as much to survive. It's a story about how a past can haunt one's present, and how sometimes we desperately cling to things of the past (like a house) or how things once were (like who is taking care of the family).

I enjoyed the slow build of the story, how each piece of the puzzle was put together, seeing into the lives of a couple of the Turner children and how they view their family and the history of the Turner House. I was intrigued by the story line of this ghost, but I kept reading because of the strong writing, honesty, and emotional insight into these characters and the state of Detroit.

I had such high hopes for this book, and saw how many people loved it, so I was disappointed when I got to the end of the book and finished with the feeling of the story being unresolved. For there not to be a conclusion to the two main pieces the story revolves around, closing the book once finished left me feeling empty and frustrated. Otherwise, I did like the book.

The narrator did a great job at bringing the many characters to life.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Well written!

The author really captured family and family dynamics. I really enjoyed learning more about the African American experience in the Northern Migration and how it impacted people's lives. Detroit was the background, and touched on the automotive industry and it's role in creating a middle class. Appreciated references to the economic disaster of W Bush causing blight in the neighborhoods. Excellent read!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Excellent period piece of late 20th century Detroit

Appreciated the well written story and loved the narrator. Quite good! Great character development of each of the 13 kids and parents. A family there is like a family anywhere with the strong personalities, the demons and issues each face. The question of what to do with the house...well, we are all going to have to walk that path at some point.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fall in love with all 13 Turner Offspring

What made the experience of listening to The Turner House the most enjoyable?

The narrator's voice was perfect for the text. She convincingly portrayed each main character, did a great job with slang and other lesser known phrases. If I had read the book instead of listening to it, I would have imagined the voices to be as she read them.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The character development was outstanding. I really felt that I wanted to go to a Turner family reunion since at this point I know everyone and have a genuine affection for the huge family. I guess I could say that I would have liked more of a plot, but otherwise the book was great. I am looking forward to listening to the author's next book.

Have you listened to any of Adenrele Ojo’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I would like to. She has a nice quality to her voice as narrator, and her various permutations of African American voices of all ages is excellent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a lot and of course cried too.

Any additional comments?

Well done!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful