These Ghosts Are Family By Maisy Card. Edition: Hardcover. Hardcover Jun 23, 2019 Paperback Dec 06, 2019 Hardcover Feb 24, 2020 Audiobook Mar 03, 2020. These Ghosts Are Family. Maisy Card (Goodreads Author) 3.71 Rating details 4,673 ratings 941 reviews. A transporting debut novel that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Stanford Solomon has a.
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- These Ghosts Are Family revolves around the consequences of Abel’s decision and tells the story of the Paisley family from colonial Jamaica to present-day Harlem. There is Vera, whose widowhood forced her into the role of a single mother.
- These Ghosts Are Family will haunt you long after you finish it.” —Michele Filgate, author of What My Mother and I Don't Talk About “Written with the brand of Jamaican humor I know and love, These Ghosts Are Family is a book I didn't know I needed to read, which might be the best kind of book. Maisy Card is a wonderful arrival for.
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As the title of Maisy Card’s radiant debut suggests, this is a story of a family shaped and haunted by the past. The Paisley family’s origin story, revealed as the narrative circles down and swims up through eight generations of family life, begins with the particularly cruel form of slavery practiced on Jamaican sugar plantations.
The novel opens in 2005, when 69-year-old Jamaican-born Stanford Solomon summons his female descendants to his home in Harlem to tell them who he—and they—really are. The women include Stanford’s home healthcare worker, who has no idea that he is the father she thought was long dead.
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Stanford, we learn, began life as Abel Paisley. In a miserable marriage and scarred by his experience as a rookie policeman, Abel leaves Jamaica in 1970 to find work in England along with his friend, the real Stanford. In London, they find work on the docks. When Stanford is crushed by a shipping container, the other dockworkers think the dead man is Abel. All black men look alike, right? Abel, now Stanford, seizes the moment. He abandons his family, still in Jamaica, and goes to New York to start a new life.
But on this day in 2005, it’s time for a reckoning. This all happens within the first three pages of the novel. There are many other reckonings ahead.
Card is a beguiling storyteller, and These Ghosts Are Family is layered with fraught family relationships arising from the complicated legacies of the racial divide in Jamaica and in the United States. Card’s characters—even the ghosts—are vividly drawn and compelling. The story, told in a satisfying blend of dialect and standard English, will make the reader consider both the emotional lives of the characters and the worldly circumstances that shaped them and their choices.
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Card was born in Jamaica and grew up in Queens, New York. She is a public librarian and now one of our brightest new writers. There is magic in these pages.