While I do not want to address the television adaptation of this novel, it is definitely the elephant in the room, and I will be honest that I picked up this book because the show trailer looked so fascinating (and I had ignored the recommendation last year from a dear friend).
OK, elephant addressed.
Lovecraft Country is a marvelous tale of horror, science fiction, and navigation of Jim Crow America of the 1950’s. Delightfully broken into vignettes and paying a whole lot of homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s style both in subject matter and story construction.
Throughout the bigger work, a larger story arc is weaving itself featuring arcane rituals, mystical objects, powerful magicks, Indiana Jones-style adventure, and more than a little overt racism.
Wrapped around the larger story are small tales of new worlds, cursed objects, hauntings, debts paid and self-discovery. Again, very much flavored with the struggles of being Black in America during a time where being non-white put one at a very overt and accepted disadvantage.
While the book was a relatively quick read, I found the world-building quite intricate and well-developed. The protagonists are very likable: even with their quirks and flaws; and the “villains” run the gamut of mystical to brutish.
Quite the literary treat.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley in return for a fair review
It’s only been recently that I have started reading more in the realm of historical fiction, but I’m finding I am enjoying it more and more. In The Conductors, Ms. Glover — in her debut offering, by the way — weaves an intriguing tale of a very closely knit community in Philadelphia; loosely tied together by their traditions, a heritage of stellar magic, and two former conductors on the underground railroad who now spend time solving some of the mysteries of this community.
Interspersed with looks back to pre-freedom times, and how a fair number of the primary characters came into the orbit of Hetty and Benjy (our crafty protagonists), one cannot help but see the comparisons to Octavia Butler’s Kindred.
This novel, however, very much stands on its own two feet. With the introduction of a mysterious murder of someone close in their circle, the two main characters — Hetty and Benjy Rhodes — begin an investigation that uncovers intrigue, shame, lies to one another, and lies to oneself.
Above all, though, I find The Conductors a story of love and self-discovery. Even without the wonderful booster of magic, sorcery, and the acceptance and acceptable use thereof; this novel would still reach its intended point. The magic, though, makes it all that much more interesting.