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House of Rougeaux

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  115 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
For Abeje and her brother Adunbi, home is the slave quarters of a Caribbean sugar plantation on the Antilles Island of Martinique. Under the watchful eye of their African mother, the children thrive despite what threatens to break them. After a night of brutality changes their lives forever, it is their strength and extraordinary bond that carries them through.

At the dawn
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Raincloud Press
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Angela M
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up.
I love family sagas, spanning years, even centuries, following characters and their descendants. In this novel, I followed this family from their roots as slaves from the island of Martinique in 1785, to Philadelphia in the 1940’s and 1960’s to Montreal in the 1880’s and 1920’s and also New York City. The part of the book that I liked the best was the first quarter of it, introducing us to Abeji and her brother Adundi and their mother Iya. Healing, spirits, seeing - the magi
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
4 family saga stars to House of Rougeaux! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

When I read the synopsis of House of Rougeaux, I knew I had to put it on my shelf. A multigenerational family saga beginning in Martinique up through present-day Canada? I was all in!

Abeje and Adunbi, sister and brother, open the story living and working as slaves on a Caribbean sugar plantation. Later on, after emancipation, Adunbi’s daughter, Hetty, finds her way to Quebec City and lives free. What follows is a family saga with multiple layers
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, librarything
The House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel is the story of a family from it's enslaved African ancestor to mid-century America, touching on the African-American experience over time, including slavery, cannon fodder in wartime, and the victim of hate crimes, but also traces the inherent skills, intelligence, and resilience that crosses generations. The story skips through time and place (Martinique, Montreal, New York City) in a non-linear presentation, with some generational stories more compell
Chaya Nebel
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This multi-generational saga about a black family in the Americas is a thoughtful, incisive, touching and dramatic story. It starts with a brother and sister, slaves on a sugar plantation in Martinique, in the early 19th century. Abeje, the girl, utilizes her natural gifts and those of the natural world to become a healer. Her brother's daughter makes her way to Canada, eventually winning her freedom, and becomes the head of a family whose members make their way through life and through various ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this novel from a Goodreads giveaway. This is my honest review.

First things first, this novel was incredibly well written. From the very start, the narrative draws you in and the words flow smoothly. I love it when a book is able to easily and quickly engage you, and this book definitely does that. The book centers on a black slave family and the joys and struggles they face throughout multiple generations. It begins with two children who are slaves on a sugar plantation and follows them
Deanne Patterson
I wanted to like this I mean I really tried to. It's a multi-generational saga taking place from the late 1700's to the 1900's. The book jumped around from generation to generation and the information was just thrown at you. There was no connecting with the characters and no main characters add to that there were too many characters that I could not keep track of.
Pub Date 24 Apr 2018
I received a complimentary cop of this book from Raincloud Press through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher as part of a Goodreads Giveaway, and an honest review was request. The House of Rougeaux is a wonderful multi-generational family epic, following a family from slavery in Martinique to freedom and a multitude of stories and lives in Canada and the northeastern US. Multigenerational family stories are a particular love of mine, and I especially enjoyed getting to know parts of history that were unfamiliar to me. I liked the author's technique of s ...more
Gudrun Mouw
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I so admire the easeful writing style. The plot fascinates, and the ending fulfills, which is rare. I loved this book!
Kate Vocke
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of House of Rougeaux through a Goodreads Giveaway (my first time winning!) I don't think I would have normally picked this up - and I try to enter myself in giveaways for just this reason - to discover new authors and read stories I wouldn't normally seek out.

House of Rougeaux was a wonderful story of a family spanning across the globe and across generations. The saga is non-linear, so it jumps around a bit. I had a hard time following in the beginning and there are quite a few cha
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read about slavery in the Carribean previously, I appreciated how the story followed history so closely. This story starts in the Carribean and stretches to Canada. The author tells by jumping around in time. For the first half of the book, I had trouble keeping the characters straight because my eyesight is too poor to read the family tree. If the print size on the family tree could be increased, that would help tremendously. After the first half of the book, I was able to connect the di ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-on-goodreads
House of Rougeaux starts on a plantation on the island of Martinique, telling the story of Abeje and her brother Adunbi. It follows Adunbi's descendants as they move to Canada and the United States. Many of the female descendants have talents in music or healing. The story is not linear, and reads somewhat like a collection of interconnected short stories. I felt the non-linear structure really worked for this book, although I did need to refer to the family tree quite often!

Overall, I really li
Zohar -
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit:

House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel is a novel following the Rougeaux family from being enslaved in the Caribbean, to finding freedom. This is Ms. Jaeckel debut novel, but not her first book.

Abeje and Adunbi, sister and brother, are slaves in a Caribbean sugar planation on Antilles Island (Martinique). Hetty, Adunbi’s daughter manages to get to Quebec City, Canada and meets Dax Rougeaux who buys her freedom.

found House of
Intriguing family saga, beautifully read by Bahni Turpin, that traces the family from siblings on Martinique in the 1600s to 20th century Canada, US, and Europe. Jaeckel chronicles the lives of family members, considers social, cultural, political, and gender issues, and includes folklore, historical details, coming-of-age, and even a little mystery. The story moves at a steady pace but not along a strictly chronological timeline (which can be a bit confusing); well-developed, involving characte ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, early-reviewers
I received this ARC just a about a week ago and found it to be an interesting read. Not great, not a page turner that kept me up all night, but it was good. I was intrigued by the description of the story on the back - a brother and sister, Adunbi and Abeje, are born into slavery on a sugar plantation on the Antilles Island of Martinique and they survive, despite brutality, death, illness and loss. The beginning of the book follows their lives for a bit, then subsequent chapters are about the li ...more
I won this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program.
This is a well written novel that follows the generations of a family from the island of Martinique, to Canada and New York. The story begins with a mother and her young children, all slaves on a sugar cane plantation in Martinique. The young daughter learns to be a healer, and her story dominates the earliest part of the novel, as she grows and gains friends and enemies on the plantation. It is her niece who first immigrates to Canada
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a far flung family saga that begins with slaves in Martinique and skips back and forth in time and place. To Canada, The United states, Europe, and back to the Caribbean. The story jumps from 1785-1869, then to 1949, then 1964, then 1925, then 1853, then 1883-1889, and then the late 1800s. Each section looks at a different family member. They are like a series of interrelated stories.

I rather liked this approach. It's very much the way we learn our own family history, with this great aun
Sonali Dabade
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
[Honest rating: 4.5/5 stars]

Got a copy of this book from NetGalley.

There's always a reason why I pick a book, with very few exceptions. The reason for my picking this book goes against the saying, "Never judge a book by its cover." [Of course, the occasional turnarounds are obviously there.] But I liked what I saw on the cover and the blurb. So I requested a copy, not really thinking I'd actually be able to read it.

But now, I'm thankful I read it.

"House of Rougeaux" puts down a heaviness in the
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I tried ... I really tried .... to connect with the characters and with Jaeckel's imagery and writing but found myself largely unable to put myself within the mindset of her novel. Perhaps the narrative of Jaeckel's work was one that I had read before and, perhaps, done with a better outcome. While reading 'House of Rougeaux,' strains of Valerie Martin's 'Property' kept intruding into the story. Maybe it's unfair to judge 'House of Rougeaux' against others work, but somehow I never made the conn ...more
House of Rougeaux is an engaging, well written multi-generational family saga. The author explores key issues relating to slavery, racial and gender discrimination, homosexuality and family. At times the book suffers from heavy-handed literary stratagems, yet is overshadowed by Jaeckel ‘s skill at storytelling. Keep an eye out for future work by this talented new author.
Rachel Parrott
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This beautiful written work invokes each place and time vividly as well as the dynamic characters in the "House of Rougeaux."

My copy was a gift through Goodreads First Reads.
Brenda Schneider
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An engaging and well written story. Really liked the book. I won this book through goodreads.
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
See even more reviews at:

House of Rougeaux is a multi-generational historical fiction novel about a family. The story begins (the family’s history) in Martinique following two siblings, Abeje and Adunbi, in the late 1700s. From there, we see them grow from the tragic death of their mother and how it impacts the rest of their lives. Abeje has a gift for hearing and listening to others which plays a part in future generations. We see the novel transition fr
Tonstant Weader
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
House of Rougeaux is a fascinating family saga by Jenny Jaeckle that, unlike the usual saga, jumps around in time and place from generation to generation, though coming full circle in a beautiful final chapter. The story begins in Martinique with Abeje, a young slave who becomes a great healer. Though she had no children, her brother had one daughter, Hettie, who had to be fostered at another plantation when his wife died. When he finally got leave to visit, he discovered she and her foster moth ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jaeckel's novel looks at the Rougeaux family--a French-Canadian-Afro-Caribbean family. With roots coming from and the enslaved man Adunbe and his wife Olivie on the island of Martinique, his daughter Ayo is given to a woman on another plantation to raise after the death of his wife not long after Ayo's birth. Years later Abeje, the great healer and Ayo's aunt, finds her and her adoptive mother when sent to doctor on another plantation.

Ayo/Hettie makes her way to Montreal as a teen, as the slave
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this as a Goodreads Giveaway - thank you!

This book was all right. Perhaps it was just a little too mystical/magical for me. We weren't allowed any deep insight into the characters feelings, and for that reason I never felt any connection to the characters. The stories were just laid out in front of you, lacking a bit in thoughts, emotions and feelings. It was also hard to keep the characters straight, so I found that a bit distracting.
Summer Fazzone
Siblings Abeje and Adunbi are slaves on a sugar cane estate in the Carribean. The two young children thrive under the watchful eye of their mother, despite their living environment. After their mother is killed brutally it is only their strength and extraordinary bond that gets them through life. Adunbe falls in love with a newly acquired slave and has a child with her, but when the mother dies giving birth they must send the child away in order to save her life. Abeje meets a healer that comes ...more
Tony Parsons
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Martinique Island (Caribbean sugar plantation). Timeline 1785-1890
The author takes you through the life/times of the Rougeaux family were impoverished sugar cane plantation slaves.

They worked hard for their masters who took advantage of the female if they were good looking.
Children were mixed breeds.
Education was not really a standard option.

The 1900’s Montreal Canada was offering the Caribbean race a chance of the lifetime.
The country had laws like the US but fewer restrictions were applie
Rachel Ashcraft
I received this novel through Librarything early reviewer. The novel starts on Martinque and follows Abeje who was born into slavery. She possesses powers that connect her the island's plant life. She grows into a great healer while also dealing with numerous hardships. What I enjoyed about this story was how easily these elements of magical realism were woven into the narrative. They felt organic and believable and that is essential for a novel that employs magical realism, otherwise it can fee ...more
Rebecca Bowyer
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
House of Rougeaux opens with the brutal rape and murder of a young mother right outside the door of the hut where her small children huddle in fear. Abeje and her older brother Adunbi - with barely 10 years of age between them - are left to fend for themselves as slaves on a Caribbean sugar cane plantation in late 18th century Martinique.

With the help of the other slaves, the orphans are given enough food to eat until they can work and earn their own small portion.

As she grows, Abeje discovers t
Lael Braday
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
After a glimpse into her future as a leader of her people, this family saga opens with the childhood of the great Obeah, Meme Abeje, who lives to see the official end of slavery in her homeland of Martinque, and her niece Hetty’s migration to Canada, where she becomes an abolitionist with husband Dax Rougeaux. After a quick (and confusing) foray into the future of the Rougeaux family in the mid-1940s, Hetty’s granddaughter Eleanor brings the story full circle, when she visits Martinique to honor ...more
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Jenny Jaeckel is the author of the forthcoming House of Rougeaux, which is her debut novel. Her previous titles include For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories and Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob. In 2016, Jaeckel published the graphic memoir Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU which was the winner of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Spot 12 was also a 2016 f ...more
More about Jenny Jaeckel

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