BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejidé [in Booklist]

Back in 1977, “Anacostia was still the New World, an isle of blood and desire.” In Washington, DC-native Morowa Yejidé’s (Time of the Locust, 2014) moody, bleak sophomore title, boundaries between the living and the dead are indiscernible. Once upon a time, Nephthys and Osiris came into the world together, connected by their pointer fingers. Years have passed since Osiris’ mangled body was dredged from the Anacostia River, but the twins’ connection never frayed.

Now his grandson, Dash, arrives at Nephthys’ door with stories of the “River Man.” At just 10, tragedy defines his life: his father disappeared; his mother, who was pulled from her dead mother’s run-over body, knows when death will come to others; and he’s seen unspeakable things at school. He barely knows his taxi-driver great-aunt Nephthys, except that she’s got some sort of power as she ferries desperate strangers seeking inexplicable answers in a Plymouth with the ghost of a dead white girl in the trunk. Unspeakable evil continues – despite its being called “Mercy.”

Fatal racism, police violence, pedophilia, family dysfunction – and all the other horrific ills of contemporary society wreak destruction, but somehow humanity survives.

Review: “Fiction,” Booklist, February 1, 2021

Readers: Adult

Published: 2021


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