Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Published by HarperAudio on June 25, 2019
Genres: Life Fiction
Length: 8 hours 6 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Billie James' 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 died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day - and she hasn't been back to the South since.
Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father's home is unnervingly secluded: Her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.
Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing debut novel about race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country.
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 originally from a small town of Greendale, Mississippi. She moves to Philadelphia with her mother (the parents were split up prior to his death) when she was just a toddler after her father dies in an apparent accident. Now she’s going back to Greendale to cleanup her father’s house that she has inherited thirty years after his death.
After some strange occurrences around the house, she starts asking about things more. She’s talking a lot with the closest neighbors, a white family that has had connections with her family, going back to slave times. She’s also talking with her father’s brother and her father’s girlfriend at the time of his death. The more she digs, the more questions she has.
I really enjoyed this crime mystery set in the South, where there is a lot of history. Even in the present, you can see the differences between the different races, but this really isn’t a story about race. Race is brought up as it is part of the culture in the town and does have its place in this story. But this is mostly about Billie trying to learn more about her father and what happened to him and even what happened to her around the time of his death.
If you like crime stories set in small towns where everyone is connected in some fashion, this would be a great story for you to try. I really look forward to reading more books by Chanelle Benz.
As I said, Bahni Turpin is the reason this book really caught my eye. I’ve listened to her narrate several different types of stories and I always enjoy her narration. I really believe that she brings out the characters in the stories, with a wide array of voices and the perfect inflection in their tones to match their personalities. If you’ve never listened to Bahni Turpin, you’re really missing out and should give her a try.
Listen to a clip: HERE
- 🎧Villains Return by M.K. Gibson @GibsonMK1 @JeffreyKafer #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel - December 8, 2023
- 🎧 Hemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong #AngelaDawe @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel - November 24, 2023
- 🎧 The Outsider by Stephen King @StephenKing#WillPatton @SimonAudio #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel - November 10, 2023