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The House of Erzulie

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The House of Erzulie tells the eerily intertwined stories of an ill-fated young couple in the 1850s and the troubled historian who discovers their writings in the present day.

Emilie St. Ange, daughter of a Creole slaveowning family in Louisiana, rebels against her parents by embracing spiritualism and advocating the abolition of slavery. Isidore, her biracial, French-born
Paperback, 275 pages
Published February 21st 2018 by Shade Mountain Press (first published 2018)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Gothic, gorgeous, gem of a book with dual storylines of 1850’s slavery, voodoo/mysticism and mental illness and present day sensuality and marital strife. Kirsten Imani Kasai’s writing is simply breathtaking at times as I found myself rereading passages for their sheer brilliance.

The author beautifully weaves a dark, mysterious Louisiana of the mid-1800’s where there are secrets and lies, spirits and witchcraft, sex and sensuality all with writing so exquisite you are left transfixed and tota
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every eerie and foreboding word of this African American Gothic beauty had me riveted. The interweaving of the individual stories was done masterfully, and each character voice was distinct and well-formed. So many times during reading I felt like one does when watching a scary movie - NO! DON’T GO IN THERE! I found myself clutching my pearls at one moment, and squirming in disgust the next. The complex combination of spiritualism and voudou, body horror, madness, the cold reality of slavery, an ...more
really well-written immersive/creepy read. Shout out to indie authors and to Shade Mountain Press for publishing intriguing work.
I read this book because the African American Historical Fiction group chose this as the BOM for this month, and it looked like a book I needed to read. Unfortunately, I was wrong about that. I didn't need to read this book. I did like the historical protagonist Emilie. She was gutsy and ahead of her time. I also liked the healer and Voudou magic practitioner Clotilde. Unfortunately, the book was overwhelmed by characters who were cowardly and self-destructive, or downright evil. This isn't supp ...more
Kristen Imani Kasai is a brilliant, theatrical writer with a wit and allure she applies to carefully-chosen adjectives and adages. Her story The House of Erzulie, is both a delight (especially to the romantic fanatic) and a real heartache to read.

The hint of historical references made coquettish with her style of writing and the refined depictions of traditional, African-American Gothic makes Kasai’s piece worth keeping on the shelves.
thoughts coming shortly
James Rhodes
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kirsten Imani Kasai's much anticipated novel is nothing short of a masterpiece, from the outset it is obvious that this is the work of writer who is at the peak of their talents: instantly compelling and yet meditative in its approach there is a great deal to be excited about in this novel. It is a novel where the supernatural lurks behind the characters as an ominous force but with a subtlety that suggests it may be a projection of their personal and social issues.

All of the narrators are clea
Michelle Z
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this HOUSE OF ERZULIE down. Okay, I did have to eat, sleep, go to my job, interact with my family, etc., however Kasai's creation of a lush, sensual, and scary world was spellbinding. To say the plot, writing, characters and the story was gripping is an understatement. Further, the language is breathtaking. Kasai writes in a way that invites the reader to be in the story, and believe me there were times this was not what I wanted because of what was happening in the novel such as ...more
Shoshana Frank
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: abandoned, adult
Excellent done gothic story. The narration adds a great deal to the characters and plot.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: black
My goodness, this book!

Kasai's writing style is stunning. I became a huge fan after reading the 2nd or 3rd page while still in the bookstore. The way she compared love to a cup of sugar spoke to me directly and so beautifully. I set aside the rest of my day knowing I was about to power through this entire book in one sitting.

I enjoyed the use of the letters and journal to show 2 different perspectives of the happenings at the plantation. There was also the 1st person perspective of the current
Ironical Dins
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Kaitlin Marie-Brown Salter
I sort of wish it was just the diary entries, but that’s just my taste. I also think a little more research could have been done on the historical aspect. Over all, pretty good book 3.5/5
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
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Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE HOUSE OF ERZULIE tells the eerily intertwined stories of an ill-fated young couple in the 1850s and the troubled historian who discovers their writings in the present day.

Emilie St. Ange, the daughter of a Creole slaveowning family in Louisiana, rebels against her parents' values by embracing spiritualism, women's rights, and the abolition of slavery. Isidore, her biracial, French-born husband, is an educated man who is horrified by the brutalities of plantation life and becomes unhinged by
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antebellum Louisiana voodoo gothic, epistolary, multi-narrative, unreliable narrator...this book has all of the things and somehow manages to pull it off! I listened to this book on audio and could not stop listening! The alternating narrative between present day and antebellum New Orleans was well written and the author's prose was hypnotic. I did not see the twist at the end coming, though I do wish that there was some more backstory to the present day narrative to support the twist.

I purchas
Julia Smillie
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The House of Erzulie is a gorgeous, sweeping tale of love, tragedy, black magic and New Orleans history, anchored across two different centuries. Kasai's deep commitment to--and enthusiasm for--research is evident on every page, and the writing is lyrical and hypnotic, fully transporting the reader to another time. It is a tale of ambition, restlessness and madness with consequences that ripple beyond the imagination. Truly an engrossing read. ...more
Mischa Panther
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disturbing and beautiful- I am totally biased because I love stories based in the South and that have hints of magical realism. I read it on audible though so got a little annoyed by the dramatization of the southern women reading. Not an uplifting read but definitely full of intrigue and horror. My first horror book- very vivid imagery.
This is a very good, very powerful book.
...I missed the fact that this is gothic horror, and horror is SO NOT MY THING. I need to stop reading horror novels by mistake.
Second and third stars because even while hating this and being horrified, and I was consistently aware that this is an excellent book. Just not my thing. At all.
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Haunting and meticulously researched HF by Ms. Imani Kasai. I loved the 3 points of view plus the past/ present storyline weaving New Orleans history with present-day issues. Perfect Historical fiction!
Dianne Matthews
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
The book is well written. The language is beautiful. I'm not sure why I didn't love it. There were parts that drew me in and times I wanted the narrator to go back to another character. The ending fell really flat for me. ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This sweeping tale—spanning two centuries—provides everything you could want from a gothic storyline: Complex characters, provocative plot, lyrical prose. As you flip through the pages of time, imaginations reel upon each new discovery and hypnotic twist!
Maasi Oak
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a tough, scary and intense read. So many emotions. But great.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was very good - the writing is fabulous
I felt it got very depressing and a little repetitious in some place - when the viewpoint changes its a breath of fresh air :)
This is my pick for task 1 of the 2019 book riot read harder challenge: read an epistolary novel.
Wendy Palumbo
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely phenomenal!! Her writing is intoxicating and the story is captivating. THIS is what I have been looking for in a historic paranormal!
rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2021
Ann Mayhew
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2021
rated it it was amazing
Oct 17, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2018
Greg Barbee
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Dec 04, 2018
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Kirsten Imani Kasai is the author of three novels: The House of Erzulie, Ice Song and Tattoo.

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