The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

This probably wouldn’t have come across my radar without the Detroit connection and might have languished on my TBR shelf if it hadn’t turned up at my local library in the front area new book shelves–one of the best (and most dangerous) areas in the library.

The Turner House is the story of a family and the story of a city both undergoing extreme changes. Viola Turner is the matriarch of thirteen children, who’s been forced to leave the family home of 50 years on Yarrow Street and live with her eldest son Cha-Cha and his wife Tina. This of course, is only temporary until she recovers from some health issues she’s been having.

The home is no longer in a desirable neighborhood and sadly only worth 1/10th of it’s mortgage, so the kids have to decide what they are going to do. Lots of suggestions but nobody’s happy with any of them. And it’s becoming more and more obvious as time passes that Viola will end her days at her son’s home–regardless of her wishes.

Told between the two time frames of 1944 when the Turner patriarch Francis first arrived in Detroit from Arkansas to 2008 and mostly following the oldest son Cha-Cha and the youngest daughter Lelah with appearances by the other siblings along the way this is a bittersweet story with lots of heart.

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