The Gone Dead
Billie James’s inheritance isn’t much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who die ...more
Race related crimes from the past continue to painfully haunt those living in the present in this tense and timely southern mystery.
This is a short novel, but it still packs a punch. The story is centered around Billie James, a young woman who inherited some money and a run down, barely habitable home in Mississippi. Upon arrival, Billie hopes she can learn more about her father, who had been a renowned black poet. But her inquiries are ...more
I'm not a big f ...more
The Gone Dead takes you by the hand and slow walks you through the uneven roads of the Mississippi Delta. At first, you feel a distant beckoning and the weight of the humid air bogging down on you as you near the swampy creeks. And then comes the rapid motion of that yank on your torso as you find yourself diving right in.
Billie James has not been back for over thirty years. She had left her past life in Mississippi and went on to live with her mother since she was four. Like nomad ...more
Billie James had an unusual childhood, taken fr ...more
I thought this started out strong with an intriguing hook. When Billie travels to her birthplace in rural Mississippi, where she's inherited her grandmother's house, she learns that the night her father died, she herself was reported missing, a time that she has no recollection of at all. Can you imagine learning such a thing and how you'd react?
The more questions she asks, the more she needs to find out. People are getting upset with her, blacks and whites both, and she might actuall ...more
Indeed, the book's protagonist is a living metaphor of American racial angst arising from that history—the child of a mixed race marriage, raised in the north by her white mother, now at age 34 she is the inheritor o ...more
Billie has taken a shor ...more
Dnf in the middle of p. 28, after trying 3 different times to get through this book. It's bloody awful. Literally from the 1st words I was rearranging these so-called sentences & paragraphs so they might make some type of sense. There's also random extraneous info. thrown in all over the place, & a complete lack of style. To further muddy the waters, the pronoun usage is sloppy & undelineated to the point of having no clear ref...more
this is a southern narrative that rattled me a bit. (view spoiler)[as billie searched for answers i could feel the weariness of those involved in the crime & i could not stop thinking about the trauma & legacy of slavery. it was painful to watch her get the answers she so desperately wants & then so deeply unsatisfying when she does. (hide spoiler)] it is hard to believe this is a first nove ...more
After an absence of three decades, Billie James returns to the Mississippi Delta. She has inherited the house where her father Clifton, a well-known black poet, died in 1972, 30 years earlier. During her time in Glendale, she finds out that some people suspect Clifton’s death may not have been the resu ...more
As soon as Billie mentions she inherited a house in the south from her grandmother, I was so worried this was going to be another The Fixer Upper or Queen Sugar. The good news: It's not! It's not about a dimwitted pretty girl from the north who got a house in the south and has men crawling all around her in the most gentlemanly of fashions.
In fact, she mows the yard at one point and gets a blister that hangs around for days and I was filled with joy.
This is more of a mystery story. Bill ...more
In Chanelle Benz's debut novel, The Gone Dead, one biracial woman's return to the Mississippi Delta threatens to unearth secrets of her father’s life and death which have long since been buried by a community wounded by racism. As the novel progresses, Benz proves just how little we've come in the way of siding with solidarity over inequality, and no one learns this lesson more than our poor protagonist, Bi ...more
Knowing Benz from her short fiction, I had no idea for about half the book which way things were going to go. But then it got predictable. The final half of the book, the reader knows what happened, can easily guess what is going to happen, but I believe this is the poin ...more
One of the prompts for my local public library's reading challenge this year is a book related to your ancestry. I was struggling to find something and a cool librarian recommended this to me. I follow new releases pretty closely so I was surprised to have never heard of this book or author, especially since the synopsis sounded like it would be right up my alley. It was.
I missed the buzz on this (if there was any?) and went into this book completely unaware. I was shocked at what I found ...more
Billie won't give up until she learns what really happened to her father in 1972. She gradually lear ...more
My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
Chanelle Benz is a new-to-me author, but when I saw that Bahni Turpin was the narrator, I decided to look further into the story. I liked the sound of the book blurb, so I decided to give this book a go. I’m really glad that I did. I had a great time reading this story and trying to figure out what was going on this small town on the Mississippi Delta.
Billie James is a half white, half black girl who is origi ...more
I liked the poet dad, who, unfortunately was not alive in this book... he was realistically depicted as just obscure and good enough to be posth ...more
|Discussion questions||1||3||Apr 30, 2020 06:34PM|
|To Be Renamed... ...: * October 2019 - The Gone Dead||1||19||Oct 03, 2019 07:49AM|
|HPPL Online Readers: Final thoughts?||1||16||Jul 30, 2019 05:43AM|
|HPPL Online Readers: Jimmy Fallon's Summer Read||2||13||Jul 30, 2019 05:42AM|
|HPPL Online Readers: Billie and her father||1||9||Jul 17, 2019 05:44AM|
|HPPL Online Readers: Let's examine the cultural context of the novel...||1||4||Jul 12, 2019 09:27AM|
|HPPL Online Readers: Let's start the discussion!||3||11||Jul 08, 2019 05:11AM|