The Between
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The Between

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  596 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A brilliant novel of horror and the supernatural in which a middle–class African–American family's very existence is threatened by inner and outer demons, now in a brand–new mass market edition, from acclaimed author Tananarive Due.

When Hilton was just a boy, his aged grandmother saved him from drowning by pulling him out of a treacherous ocean current, sacrificing her lif...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published May 1st 1995)
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Dawnelle Wilkie
I am a huge fan of Due's later novel The Living Blood and was a little disappointed with The Good House so I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. It's not as creepy as The Living Blood but it was good and scary. She has a knack for pacing that makes me read into the wee hours of the morning and her characterization is solid. Even her minor characters retain a sense of personal authenticity that is lacking in some genre fiction. I am reluctant to classify her as a writer of genre fiction be...more
Monique
Finished this supernatural thriller book in less than four days and must say aside from the wide open ending I found it quite enjoyable, a definite page turner but left with a little too many unanswered questions..This is a novel about a little boy raised by his grandma until one day he swims out too far and gets caught in a rip current, his grandma swims out to save him and essentially dies in his place..Ever since he has been plagued with nightmares triggered by near death experiences and some...more
Hattie Norman
All through the novel THE BETWEEN by TANANARIVE DUE I felt sympathy for Hilton and his family. Hilton is a husband and father of two children, Kaya and Jamil. Hilton suffers insomnia because of unexplained dreams and/or nightmares. Often these horrible dreams will have many doorways down a long hall, sometimes there is a drowning and sometimes his grandmother, Nana, appears in the dreams. When Hilton awakens from the dreams, he is not himself. He is sad, aloof and at times angry and definitely t...more
Leslie
I wanted to read a book by a female author to balance out the number of books I've read by men recently. Tananarive Due avoids chick lit and black stereotypes and writes speculative fiction superbly, this is not a genre novel. The Between is reminded me of Dexter, the TV show, because both take place in Miami and the characters' occupations, a judge and a social worker, are central to the story. This book captures the cultural diversity of Miami and the characters are wonderfully fleshed out. Th...more
Leah
Dec 13, 2011 Leah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of supernatural thrillers with *some* graphic violence
The Between by Tananarive Due caught my eye whilst browsing the paperback section at my local library. The blurb on its back cover enticed me into taking it home:
Hilton was seven when his grandmother died, and it was a bad time. But it was worse when she died again..."
I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Due writes in vivid detail without overloading the page and her grasp of pace and tension are top-notch. I couldn't put the book down: I just had to know how it would all turn out.

The characters were t

...more
Titilayo
this is the third novel i've read by due. all of her tales are consistently excellent. i stand by my original assessment. her words are easily cataloged in the tradition of octavia butler minus the impending sense of dread; the heavy macabre elements are lighter than butler but the universe woven by her words are just as intense. i admit there were about 75 pages that i really dragged on in this story. but over all it was a slow to digest food for thought.

so many doorways. between the world of...more
Terez
Tananarive Due's debut novel most definitely heralded her acclaimed career as a novelist.

The Between tells the story of Hilton James, a man who suffers from a severe sleep disorder - and vivid, often terrifying dreams. As the line between reality and his dreams blur, Hilton's storybook life begins to crumble. He even begins to question his sanity. But when his family is placed in very real danger, Hilton fears something other-worldy is happening to him.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Due is...more
Jamie
Oh, the '90s...

This was another one I ended up staying in the bathtub way too long because I wanted to know what would happen. The ending wasn't exactly a shock but she had a lot she could have done with it and she didn't pull her punch so that was pretty tight. Nice shout-out to The Shining in the third act.

This was the first novel of Due's I've read but a few of the other titles keep popping up on must-read lists so that is excellent.
Zeo
Screaming, Hilton finds himself flung inside a dance of bright, hungry flames. When he moves, the hissing fire licks at his face and bare chest. He bats at the blaze as though it is a cloud of marsh mosquitoes, spittle running down his chin.

Then he sees her.

She is thin, tall, with an angular neck and her chin held high as she stands motionless in the wall of fire, which does not seem to touch her. She is a young woman Hilton has never seen before, but instantly he divines everything about her: s
...more
Leslie
“Hilton was seven when his grandmother died, and it was a bad time. But it was worse when she died again.” From that very lovely opening, Tananarive Due crafts a pulse-thrumming tale of a man haunted by a “sinister fear” (45). The rhythmic quality of the writing draws Hilton’s consciousness from the page and his own increasingly confused sense of reality becomes the reader’s own. Italicized moments seep into the text between paragraphs, between “lucid” moments, into sentence ends. Some stretches...more
M. Fenn
We’ve now sliding down the downslope of this year’s women of genre fiction reading challenge. No, no! I don’t mean that I’ll be giving The Between a bad review. Far from it. What I mean is that this is book #7 out of twelve. More than half way done!

The Between is Tananarive Due’s first novel, published in 1995. Its protagonist is Hilton James who, as a young boy, almost drowns, but is rescued by his grandmother. The undertow takes her instead. James is adopted by an aunt and uncle and, once grow...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 23, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complte Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
A true-page turner I devoured in a few hours that inhabits the gray spaces between dark fantasy and psychological thriller. Hilton James has felt since childhood that he needs to make his life count, because his grandmother lost her life saving him from drowning. Now his family is in danger; they've been getting death threats from a dangerous racist touched off by his wife's election making her the only black female judge in Miami--and Hilton seems to be losing it, caught up in disturbing nightm...more
Joe
The main problem with this book is that it got swept up in two competing storylines and never really figured out how to cut loose.

Does our main character suffer from schizophrenia? Okay, let's work with it. We know there's a supernatural undertone to his ailment, but let's figure out how he snaps out of it.

Will the racist stocker succeed at harming the main character's family? Okay, here's another compelling plot.

Instead, the novel works itself up into a repetitive frenzy that, although written...more
Liza

Hilton is living on stolen time. At nine, he lost his Nana to the ocean when she went out to save him, but he knows he lost her way before then. Now, 30 years later, he is a husband and father of 2. He is having dreams; bad, sleep-depriving dreams. So bad he is not sure if the dreams are reality or his reality are his dreams.

When a man threatens to kill his wife and children, he really loses it. He starts seeing things that aren't there. Appears to have ESP. Once he chooses to accept who/what he...more
Andrea
Due's pacing is spot-on add she tells this fine creepy tale. It's written in third person but stays so tight to the MC that it might as well be first, and the MC isn't exactly a reliable narrator.

The Between is a great story, a great piece of craft, and a great read.
CJ
Mixed feelings on this book. The characters and the plot were well written, and the imagery stuck with my brain for over a decade; however, the ending disappointed me somehow. Still, I recommend anything else by her. She's an amazing writer.
Courtney
A horror novel - a young boy finds his grandmother in a heap on the kitchen floor, her skin cold to the touch. He runs to the neighbor for help; when he returns, his grandmother is cooking dinner, acting as if nothing is wrong. Months later, the boy is swimming out beyond the buoy despite his grandmother's admonitions to stay close to shore - he feels the undertow dragging him under, but he is saved by his grandmother, who sacrifices her life for his.

Fast forward - the boy is now a man with a f...more
Kasey Jane
Heads up: this solid first novel by Tananarive Due is only $0.99 on the Kindle Store.

Hilton James is a successful, overworked middle-class father and husband. His job seeps into his nights and weekends and his marriage isn't perfect, but he's proud of how much he has achieved since his ignorant, country childhood.

Then the threats begin and, with them, the dreams.

Hilton struggles to find what is real and what is an elaborate fantasy. As his wife and friends begin to fear for Hilton's sanity, a d...more
Lilah
Opens up creepy and rolls right into a tragedy, setting the premise of guilt and redemption. More chunks of narrative summary than I like, and I wasn't crazy about the whole dream/not-a-dream shifting of reality, but troubled marriages are one of my sweet teeth, and this one even more so for the conflict coming up between two people who have devoted their careers to justice so everything should be happy forever, right? The scenes where the protag was losing it in front of his kids were especiall...more
Mary
May 01, 2013 Mary marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
From the 2013 Books Lover's Calendar on Tuesday, April 30, 2013:

Tananarive Due has gone on the write several other brilliantly inventive novels after this one, but in many ways this is her most chilling. When Hilton was a young child, his grandmother saved him from drowning. Now, as an adult, he has begun having deeply disturbing nightmares that suggest he was never meant to live. The story is all the more powerful because Due is so good at letting us know how much is at stake. Is there such a t...more
Cortnee Kelly
I felt so sorry for Hilton as he slowly unraveled throughout the book...however the story line was very interesting and thought provoking... I'm sure I'll be reading other books by this novelist.
Kate
Nov 19, 2009 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: suspense and horror enthusiasts
Recommended to Kate by: my co-worker Mark N.
This was my first Tananarive Due book I ever read. Recommended to me by a co-worker, I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into, since how he explained it to me is, "That it's a story that's equal parts suspense, horror, sci-fi and I think you'd like it."

So, I put it on reserve at the local library and once I started reading it I just got sucked into the life and dreams of Hilton James and went along for the thrill ride to the very end, which left me breathless.

Now I can't wait to check...more
Mia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.M.
The writing was good but I thought things were left unexplained for too long. Midway through the book I realized I didn't really care about the main character very much, and I was getting weary of his not knowing what was going on. Not only that, his refusal to talk to anyone about his issues bothered me. I don't like people who won't bother helping themselves. While I enjoyed the author's voice, I didn't enjoy this story.
Villager
This is my first read of Tananarive Due. I wasn't sure what to expect ... but, I enjoyed the mystical story that she told in this book. I've never thought about the people who live 'in between' until reading this book. It is a plot that hasn't been overly exposed in either literature, television or the movies.

I guess that I'll be looking for another Tananarive Due book to read now...
Ile Gonzales
This is the first book I've ever read by this author and I have to say I'm very interested in reading more of what she has written. Her characters and descriptions are so rich you can almost smell and feel their experiences. This was a haunting tale that gives those of us that believe in other worlds another viewpoint about them. Definitely a great book.
Alexandra
I read this for class some time ago. It was an enjoyable read. Very interesting. Don't let the three stars deter you. This isn't my preferred genre, but it was still quite an enjoyable read. I was pleasantly surprised.
Tamara Perkins
True page turner. On the edge trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Thought I was the crazy one for a minute.

After reading this I am a die hard fan of Tananarive Due. Will read ANYTHING she writes.
Sheila
Due is a very intriguing author, her works are dark and erotic with a lot of mystery thrills. Her endings tend to be a bit weak but the stories are still engaging and entertaining, and often time very eerie
Cher
Wow, this writer is wonderful. I can't believe I've never heard of her before. She has a true gift with words, describing the basics of human experience, and also using truth to scare the bejeezus out of you.
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Tananarive Due is a novelist and a creative writing teacher who has worked as a journalist. She won the American Book Award in 2002 for her novel The Living Blood.
More about Tananarive Due...
My Soul to Keep (African Immortals, #1) The Living Blood (African Immortals, #2) The Good House Blood Colony (African Immortals, #3) Joplin's Ghost

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