My Soul to Keep

Tananarive Due
My Soul to Keep Cover

WoGF Review: My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due


After reading and reviewing 5 books for WoGF (yes, I know I am behind the schedule), I was still searching for 'the book' that would really outstand between the rest and remind me why I so love reading fantasy and fiction, and living with the characters throughout the story.

I have never heard of Tananarive Due previously, and that is one of the reasons I chose her, as well as the intriguing description of 'My Soul to Keep'. I also have to admit that Stephen King's comment on the book cover did not go unnoticed. And I was not disappointed. Actually, I have devoured the story in few days refusing to go out during the weekend. It has been a while since I last had such a satisfaction in a story.

So, what is so good about it? First of all, the story itself is so well written, its pace, and the development of events seem to be just right. The reader gets to see the perception of events by different characters that unveil the story bit by bit.

The centre of the story is the Wolde family. David is a perfect husband and a father, he is very intelligent, and experienced in life, he knows at least 8 languages, and has a passion for music, especially jazz and the old movies. He subtly manages to make things happen his way in the family. David's love and care for Jessica and their 5 year old daughter Kira is overwhelming, however, there are a lot of gaps and uncertainties of his past, and a part of his personality he never displays publically. His wife Jessica is an experienced journalist who dreams of changing the world with her work, but she is still so naive when it comes to her personal life, and future. She seems to turn a blind eye on her husband's outstanding health and healing abilities, and does not dare face the truth about David until the weird events start happening around her, and people she loves start having fatal accidents.

Jessica never knows the truth until David decides to tell her everything, meanwhile the reader gets to know the other life of David piece by piece. The story unfolds in detail explaining how he has become the person he is, and why the family means so much to him. After all these years of ignorance, Jessica finally learns the truth, and that changes her life forever. The change of her views, and the strength of the character the reader witnesses is rewarding, as from a naïve princess, she becomes a fighter.

Jessica's strength also lies with her mother Bea and sister Alex, opposite to David's supposedly lonely orphan life and mistrust for everybody around him. Her family is very religious that also help them accept the things as they are and be thankful for each day.

The historical reality of Afro-Americans in the continent since their slavery to freedom enriches the story, and evolves naturally, making it even more credible. David's African roots are all the time present in him, as he contemplates and struggles to understand the American reality and ways of life. And the Afro-American music is always present in the story.

I am definitely going to read another book of Tananarive Due, and do recommend 'My Soul to Keep' as a well-written, intriguing story of mystery and suspense with great development of characters that keeps the reader wondering and tense until the very last page.

P.S. I have just discovered that 'My Soul to Keep' is the first book of the series of four (which is not on Worlds Without End), and that has made me so excited and wanting to go to ebay and purchase the rest of the book of the series right away! On the other hand, I could live without knowing what happens next, as this book alone sounds very rich and complete.