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These Ghosts Are Family

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  60 reviews
*An Entertainment Weekly, Millions, and LitHub Most-Anticipated Book of 2020 pick*
*A Rumpus and Electric Literature Most-Anticipated Debut of 2020 pick*
*A Ms. Magazine Top Feminist Book Coming Out in 2020*
*A BookRiot Best Book Club Pick of 2020*
*A Celadon Books Most-Anticipated Novel of 2020*
*A Lily Top Book to Read by Women in 2020 Selection*
*A Buzz Magazine Top New
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Simon Schuster
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  • These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
    These Ghosts Are Family
    Release date: Mar 03, 2020
    A transporting debut novel that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 3293 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 14 - Feb 25, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 3.92  · 
    Rating details
     ·  118 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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    The Artisan Geek

    This was an absolutely stunning read. So well put together, I'm completely blown away - would no doubt recommend this book! :)

    A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy of this book. So stocked to read it!!

    You can find me on
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    Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorites
    The family tree assignment we had to do in elementary/middle school ain’t shit compared to These Ghost are Family. Here we have a book that portrays as one man’s lies, betrayal, and infidelity but instead, you get caught in a whirlpool. Faking his death was only Abel’s way of introducing us to a family lineage that holds secrets, migration, slavery, deception, and revenge. I haven’t read something this brilliant in awhile. From the 1700s to this current year, Maisy Card has found a way to give ...more
    Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    copy courtesy of edelweiss. Wow. Just, wow. This book was such an incredible dive into all of the twists and turns that formed this family throughout the generations. I was reading it like my life depended on it. Card transported me to a time and place I don’t think I’d ever have experienced otherwise. I’m hoping that the longer I sit and think about this book, I’ll come up with a more coherent review. But I’m not above shoving it at people with jazz hands and a “READ IT NOW!” for good measure.
    Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2020-reads
    What a debut novel!

    After sitting with this book for about a week I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite novel of 2020 thus far. This is one of those novels that when you finished it, you have to take a moment to process the experience you've just had. This book was such an incredible plunge into all of the twists and turns that formed this family throughout the generations.

    Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his death and went to America to start over. The
    Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    simonandschuster #partner | Listen, put Maisy Card’s These Ghosts are Family on your radar. Put it on your TBR. Add it to your cart. Preorder it. Then read it.

    It doesn’t come out until March 3rd, and it’s about a man named Stanford Solomon holding a thirty year old secret. Stanford is actually Abel Paisley, a man who faked his own death and stole another man’s identity. This story revolves around the consequences of Abel’s decision and tells the story of
    Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2019, arc
    **I received a courtesy copy via Edelweiss**

    I think 80% of this book was excellent- truly wonderful writing, lovely character development, internal dialogue and cultural specificity. There was a chapter toward the end that I found to be a bit tedious and I generally wanted more from each section, for the characters and the interconnected narrative to be even further fleshed out. Still, I would certainly recommend this book when it becomes available for purchase.
    Anissa Austin
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
    Shelves: dnf
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchanged for my honest review.

    I was eager to read this book as it is a most anticipated book of 2020.

    This is a do not finish book for me. The first part of the book is not written in first or third person. It is in a style such as introductions and events are introduced " Say you this and say you that". With this style, it is hard to understand and become connected to the book. The introduction of a book is everything and I think the author should have
    Brittany J. (BNJreads)
    Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    These Ghosts Are Family| Thank you BIBLIOFINDER and Simon & Schuster for the gifted copy!

    Book Review:

    Have we recovered from the goodness that is These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card? No? We need a little more time to digest all of this tea? I GET IT! I really do!

    When I said “PREORDER PREORDER PREORDER”, y’all I meant it! It’s about so much more than the patriarch of the family, Stanford Solomon (Abel Paisley) revealing his 35 year old secret. This book has history, culture, folklore,
    Crystal (Melanatedreader) Forte'
    Wheewww what a ride...This book took me on a roller coaster ride I did not want to end. This book makes you question the extent of your own family line and made you want to check your own roots. I could not help but be sucked in from the beginning and lured along the trail of one crazy turn after another after learning one branch of the family tree and wanted to reach back as far as I could into the lives of each family member. I know this is a debut novel but I can't wait to see more.
    Amber | cozynaturereads 🌿🍃
    First hearing about These Ghosts Are Family I was seeing all the buzz about this book so I was intrigued to pick it up. The premise of this story sounded really interesting. Once I started reading I was hooked. Then around 40-50% I started getting confused. It didn't feel like a collective story anymore more like short stories. I did have times where the plot twists left me shocked but overall I felt disconnected from the characters. The dialogue at times threw me off and I couldn't understand ...more
    Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arcs, netgalley
    This is one of those books that tempts you to call in sick to work so you can just read it all day. I was completely engrossed in the story from the first page and the writing is exquisite. This riveting story spans several generations and occurs in at least three different countries. It is the story of a family and how the past shapes the present and future. The descriptive writing transported me to times and places I have never been. Though book deals with heavy topics such as infidelity, ...more
    Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

    This book was absolutely gripping. I loved learning how all of the family stories wove together, while simultaneously loving the individual stories.

    The writing was beautiful and continually drew me in.

    The last chapter, however, lost me a little bit. I know that it was tangentially related to a minor character in the book, but other than that, I’m not sure what it’s purpose was. The end felt sort of unsatisfying, just
    Jan 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: dnf
    "These Ghosts Are Family" was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020. I could not wait to start it. However, I was disappointed. The speculative writing style in this book was just not for me. It was very hard to get into/ connect with anything going on, and sadly, I could not finish. Because of this, I will not be giving this book a rating at this time.

    * I received an advance digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
    Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
    I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways. I loved the idea for this book and what a great debut novel. However, like many of the other reviewers, it was hard to get into and a little hard to follow. Once I did eventually get into it (after a month of struggling), I finished in a day and was completely captivated by the course of events.
    Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Review coming later, however I want to say " What a wonderful book, beautifuly written, researched, just amazing " Read, yes read !
    Jan 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

    Although I like the concept, I found the dialect in this book nearly impossible to read and it was distracting to a point where I couldn't finish it. The emotion behind it was beautiful and I may eventually try to revisit it someday, but I would recommend not tackling this unless you're feeling up to a challenge.
    Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: giveaways
    I won this in a goodreads giveaway. It’s a good book, well written and engaging!
    canned yellow peach
    Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
    Recommended to canned yellow peach by:
    literariness not enough
    Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
    "I wanted to say to my friend, as I will end by saying to you now, that I have no wish to look upon a world that will not let you people sink down, and stay down, like the rest of us." - Louise Marie Paisley

    These Ghosts are Family is one of those books that kinda kicks you in the gut while you're reading it. Then after you're finished you have to take a moment to process the experience you've just had. This is a multi-generational saga told from multi-character perspectives while crossing
    Deedi (DeediReads) Brown
    All my reviews live at

    These Ghosts Are Family is an incredible debut about the ghosts — figurative and perhaps literal — that follow a family tree through time. It’s family saga, ghost story, and historical fiction all rolled into one.

    For you if: You’re intrigued by the secrets of family history, want to read diversely, and don’t mind bouncing around between time periods, settings, and narrators.

    BIG thanks to Simon & Schuster for
    Elizabeth Cruikshank
    I struggled a bit with this book. It opens with a really intriguing setup: An elderly man is about to reveal to all his living female descendants that he once faked his own death and started over under a new identity. And when the next chapter then jumps back in time to show an early sequence from that man's first marriage, I anticipated that the book would be structured around different scenes explaining his backstory and illustrating how he got to the place depicted in the opening chapter. ...more
    Astrid Ferguson
    Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
    First let me begin by saying that I was so excited to read this story after reading the synopsis of Abel faking his own death. I was stoked when I received an arc copy from the publisher. I was ready to dive in.

    This kind gesture however, did not in any way alter my views on this honest review. So let's start from the beginning or middle, however you choose to read this novel. These Ghost are Family felt like I was in a time machine. You travel between Brooklyn and Jamaica. There was Jamaican
    Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
    Summary: When the novel opens, we meet Stanford Solomon, a man living in Jamaica near the end of his life. Stanford’s guilt over something he did in his past is catching up with him. With his wife recently deceased, Stanford decides to confess a huge secret to his partially estranged family: he is not Stanford Solomon. Long ago, he seized an opportunity to change his life by abandoning his real identity, his much hated job, and his first family, when the real Stanford Solomon was killed.

    As the
    Domonique Shante
    Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card tells the multi-generational story of a Jamaican man who fakes his own death and leaves his family behind to start a new life. The synopsis alone made me want to drop everything else I read and start this one immediately.

    I want to start by applauding Card for her unique writing style. She wrote this book like it was an abstract work of art. She opened the story by throwing perspectives in-- seemingly at random-- until you get near then end where she begins
    I have seen this book all over my bookstagram feed as the pub date approaches and was very excited to be provided with a copy to review. Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me a free ebook copy of These Ghosts Are Family in return for my honest review.

    As Stanford Solomon nears the end of his life he finally admits a secret he has kept for 30 plus years of his life, he was born Abel Paisley. The outcome of Stanford's admission takes us through 200 plus years of Jamaican
    Kavanand (Reading for Two)
    Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
    These Ghosts Are Family is a really stunning multi-generational saga about a Jamaican family. It's a powerful and ambitious debut novel.

    The story begins with Stanford Solomon. He's an elderly man who has hired a home health aide and brings her into his house with his daughter and granddaughter. He has a story to tell all three women. For, you see, Stanford is really Abel Paisley and the home health aide is his daughter from him first marriage. Abel faked his own death and took his friend's
    Nia J Reads
    Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
    When writing a book review, how can you leave your feelings out of the rating ? Isn't the scoring based on how the author, characters and plot made you feel? Truth be told Maisy left me sooo deep in my feelings, that I feel like I need to watch TV for like A WEEK! Was the book good ? Yes. Did it have me sitting on the edge of my seat at the end of each page? Meh. Was I jumping out of my seat when some of THE MOST RANDOM things happened? Yes, but my reaction was more of a "Why Jesus?!" than a ...more
    Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
    Shelves: tbr-soon
    These Ghosts Are Family is a multigenerational story like no other. It covers a span of time beginning in the early 1800s and leading to present day. We climb the branches of Abel’s family tree and delve deep into his juicy ancestry. By reading the synopsis alone, one may believe that this story is about Abel, a Jamaican man who leaves his country and his family, fakes his death and starts all over. This is not simply a story about Abel and his web of lies. This is a story about how a lie can ...more
    a. a. d. wolfe
    Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: arc

    image via my instagram.

    I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of These Ghosts Are Family--thank you to Simon and Schuster.

    The good: This was one hell of a debut novel. The writing was raw, vivid, and strong, and kept hooked from beginning to end. I was not expecting it to be more of a collection of stories, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story spans a large chunk of time and jumps to different characters and point of views, but the writing was so clear that I was not confused
    Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Before I start my review, I just want to say something positive about the author, Maisy Card. She did an AMAZING job writing "These Ghosts Are Family" and I cannot wait to read another novel from her. Now, back to my review. So, I received an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) from NetGalley and I was so happy that I chosen to read the ARC (but it is not an official copy of the book; still has grammatical errors and whatnot). Anyway, the novel starts off with the protagonist or antagonist (not sure ...more
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    Maisy Card is writer and a public librarian. Her writing has been nominated for a pushcart prize and has appeared in Lenny Letter, School Library Journal, Agni, Sycamore Review, Liars’ League NYC, and Ampersand Review. Maisy was born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, but was raised in Queens, New York. Maisy earned her MFA from Brooklyn College, her MLIS from Rutgers University and a BA in English and ...more