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House of Rougeaux

(House of Rougeaux #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  343 ratings  ·  134 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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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  343 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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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
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 la
Lilly Luna
"House of Rougeaux" is a terrific family saga by the award-winning author and illustrator Jenny Jaeckel. Unlikely many family sagas, this one jumps back and forth through various generations and will come full circle in the final chapter.

This charming written historical novel begins in the 1700s on the Caribbean Island of Martinique with Abeje, a young female slave who passes excellent healing power, and her brother Adunbi. Although Abeje never had children of her own, her brother did. After hi
Kelly Lyn
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
a beautifully written family that will have you all in the feels. a new favorite for sure. cannot wait for the sequel in July.
Back when I first requested House of Rougeaux from NetGalley I was still reading pdfs on my Android. The copy I received was missing significant parts of the book. So I put it down despite being drawn to the characters Abeji and Adunbe in the first part. Thankfully, I have gotten the chance to revisit this novel with the help of one of my favorite narrators, Bahni Turpin.

After listening to the novel in its entirety I have to say that some of the characters stayed with me more than others. There
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
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarything, arc
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
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!
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I have so many thoughts about book, and they're all jumbled up. So bear with me, please. I'll do my best not to ramble. First off, this book is probably well outside of what I normally read. This is fiction yes, but it's steeped in history as well. House of Rougeaux is follows a family through multiple generations, from the days of legal slavery to the cusp of emancipation. It's a beautifully written journey from one familial relationship, to the next, with a little overlap in the stories. I won ...more
Kate (Feathered Turtle Press)
3.75 Stars

The Good
– Strong beginning and ending
– Graceful handling of sensitive topics
– No graphic descriptions
– Easy characterization
– Gentle, comforting read
– Effortless, readable prose

The Bad
– Some middle sections feel weak / disjointed
– Hard to feel attached to some characters
– Hard to keep track of the relations at times

(I received a copy of The House of Rougeaux in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Black Rose Writing, and to Jenny Jaeckel for reaching out to me for this opport

Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
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
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: early-reviewers, own
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
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
N.N. Light
This is a critically important book in this time we live in. Here, the author presents the life of an African American family from their humble beginnings and on. The realistic portrayal of slavery in Martinique in the 18th and 19th centuries resonates. There is much more realism in the harsh and often unfair conditions the family must face in America in the 20th century.

This is a family saga for the readers who love family sagas. You don't have a hero or heroine per se, you just have a family t
Rosa S
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written stories that connect a family over the span of several generations. Starting in the Caribbean to Canada, this book tells the story of how the people in this family triumph over hardships, and love always wins.
I love history, and I feel like the author really did her homework when writing these amazing stories.
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
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
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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
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
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
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Multi-generational saga of the Rougeaux family that spans from the Caribbean of the 1700's and slavery to the early 1900's in. Canada and the United State. This story is rich in historical fiction, and written extremely well. The characters jump off the page and the stories are so engrossing that it's very difficult to put down. Enjoy this hidden gem. I don't think it got the accolades it richly deserved by the literary community. ...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.
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.
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Jenny Jaeckel is the author of 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 finalist in the F ...more

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