My Soul to Keep

Tananarive Due
My Soul to Keep Cover

My Soul to Keep


David Wolde is an immortal man who has married a mortal woman. She's a journalist who's starting to taste success, and he's an accomplished professor turned freelance writer who dotes on his wife and their young daughter. However, his wife doesn't know he is immortal. David took a blood pact many years ago in Ethiopia that granted him and fifty-nine other men immortality. They promised to never tell any others of this pact, and they promised never to get too attached to the mortal world. David's immortal family has decided that it is time for him to leave his family and return to them. They fear that he is about to break their fragile existence by revealing himself to his wife and child. Little do they know that David plans to go one step further and attempt to grant them that which is forbidden to his family-immortality.

Prior to reading this novel, I'd only encountered Ms. Due's work in various anthologies I'd picked up over the years that featured horror stories by writers of color. Some of those books I've held onto for years and revisit them periodically, and any time I'd reread one I'd always think to myself that I need to get around to reading some Due because she'd been touted a writer of color who was really making waves in the horror genre with her stories. (And her stories are almost always one of my favorites in the anthologies that I find her in.)

It was a treat to finally read a complete novel by her. I was completely captured by this story and especially enjoyed hearing about David's past as he journeyed from Africa to America. Much like Octavia Butler she weaves African and African-American history in this story to give it such a different flavor and context than you'd find in most horror stories while adding an element of emotion that really speaks to the reader. While I don't think there is anyone who can manage to weave race and genre fiction together quite the way Octavia Butler has with her novels, Due has certainly made quite an impact as well with her efforts. There were some parts of the novel that seemed to go on longer than they should've such as the ending, but this is definitely a series that I will continue.