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Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft CountryLovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Matt Ruff’s very enjoyable, very satisfying novel follows two families: the Braithwhites, a wealthy White family of sorcerers from New England, and the Turners, a working-class Black family from Chicago who are inextricably caught in the machinations of the Braithwhites due to their shared history. Ruff’s characters are remarkable and indelible. I’m a big fan of Montrose and Hippolyta in particular, although I found Ruby’s story perhaps the most touching. However, what sets LOVECRAFT COUNTRY apart from any other novel about the African American experience in 1950s America, where the dangers of Jim Crow and sundown towns await, are the homages to pulp fiction throughout. The science fiction and horror tropes Ruff employs — not all of which stem from Lovecraft, despite the novel’s title — are put to breathtaking new use, injecting new vitality into concepts most genre readers have long been familiar with. However, I don’t want to give anything away in this review. LOVECRAFT COUNTRY is a road trip, both for the characters and the reader, and the pleasure of the journey lies in the discoveries that await them and you. Highly recommended.

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