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Dead Above Ground

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"That was Mother's life back then: planning one daughter's wedding while plotting to kill her other daughter's lover...." Award-winning author Jervey Tervalon's spellbindingly luminous novel overflows with the atmosphere of a unique place and time -- New Orleans -- and the vibrant personalities of the intriguing Du Champs. Jervey Tervalon has created a mesmerizing tale tha ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Atria Books
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
If you ever find yourself asking "Why can't I read a fiction book about African Americans set in the early twentieth century that isn't so much about the tragedy of the African American experience, but the everyday life of an African American," you might like this one. It's set in the 1940s and the protagonist is a woman of mixed heritage. Her father is Irish and her mother was Black (or Colored as they would have said then). She seems comfortable with both, having a good relationship with her f ...more
Donna Bennett
This story of murder, love, and hate will not let you put the book down. You'll find out the family secrests and why Helen has a real hate for this man her daughter wants to run away with. And all threw this Lita is still working on keeping the family a strong unit. I admired Lita - she is a loving mother, caring wife, great daughter and cousin but also a no-nonsense type of girl that doesn't just sit around. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was very impressed with Jervey's writing styl ...more
A disappointingly generic book from a writer whose earlier work exhibits a much stronger voice. For full review, see
I came into this never before reading a Jervey Tervalon novel, and I must say hats off to the author, because this story is pure genius.

Tervalon paints pictures with his words as we travel in time to the 1940's, in the searing and humid city of New Orleans, Louisiana. We meet the Du Champ girls, Lita, and Adele who make up 2 parts of a family filled with deep secrets and much drama.

For the spirited and young Lita, New Orleans is a place subjugated by her diligent mother, Helen who basically hold
I read this book back in 2003 and it has sparked many discussions. This book was well written and very dramatic. I do not want to know what goes on in the mind of this author because I tell you it has to be something.

I recommend this book to anyone who will listen.
part mystery, part fictional memoir. has the feel of a short story. not exactly a stellar literary piece.
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