Historical Novel Society Review

The Historical Novel Society published their review of House of Rougeaux last week and they loved it! See the full review below.

In the 18th century, Iya was taken from her African home and enslaved on a sugar cane plantation on the island of Martinique. Iya’s children, Adunbi and Abeje, and grandchild, Hetty, are born into slavery. Hetty was taken to Canada and, when slavery was abolished there, she married Dax Rougeaux and gave birth to five children who became the first free-born descendants since their great-grandmother Iya.

In seven sections, and from 1785 to 1964, a different family member tells the story of the House of Rougeaux. Iya’s life is taken by a horrible act of the master’s son. Abeje is a healer and highly revered in the slave community. Her brother Adunbi marries but loses his daughter Hetty when the master trades her for a heifer calf. This non-linear story continues with two young cousins, Nelie and Azzie, living in Philadelphia in 1949; Rosalie, a high school student in 1964; and Martine in Montreal in 1925. In 1853 Hetty is taken to Montreal, and her son Guillaume tells his story from 1883-1889. The narrative of Guillaume’s daughter finishes the book in late 1800s New York. The genealogy chart is an invaluable reference since the story jumps back and forth in time, making it difficult to place each narrator within the context of the family.

This family suffers the indignities of slavery and its aftermath while living with grace and strength through time and important historical events. I could feel their pain, fear, and heartache through the author’s intensely beautiful descriptions. For example, Guillaume mourning his wife’s death: “A long, long river of tears cut a path through the night, until the sky paled, and the bleak dawn broke, unwanted, outside the window.” I felt his all-consuming grief. The language of each narrator feels authentic, whether slave or business owner, illiterate or educated. A wonderful read.

 

House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel and narrated by Bahni Turpin is just two weeks old!  We are so grateful for all the publicity, praise and new fans that are coming out to say they love the book. House of Rougeaux is available in your favorite format: Hardcover, eBook, Audio (digital), and Audio (CD). If you don’t want to buy it, request it at your local library!! If you’ve read House of Rougeaux or listened to it already, join the discussion! Leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon or Audible. Thanks!

AudioFile Review of House of Rougeaux

AudioFile, the audiobook review magazine, has reviewed House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel, read by Bahni Turpin. Here’s the review in full (or visit AudioFile to see it on their webpage):

Narrator Bahni Turpin conveys place and time quickly while establishing the characters of Abeje and Adunbi, twins enslaved on a sugar plantation in eighteenth-century Martinique. Turpin conveys the protectiveness of their mother, the brutality of her death, and, afterwards, the tenderness of their protection of each other. Turpin also gives a strong sense of the culture of mysticism, viewed largely through Abeje’s development as a healer. Abeje and Adunbi are the progenitors of two centuries of heroes and heroines who deal courageously with the circumstance they face in varying time periods in Canada and the U.S. Each poignantly and personally reflects the issues of his or her era–for example, racism and gender prejudices. Turpin’s facility with accents and characterizations gives listeners a sense of these shifting time periods and the continuity that comes from generations of treasured family stories. S.W. © AudioFile

The list of books that our narrator, Bahni Turpin, has read is astounding. AudioFile has a great list of books read by Turpin, which includes National Book Award Winners and Oprah Book Club titles:

  • The Hate U Give
  • Children of Blood and Bone
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • Precious
  • The Help
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

We’ve partnered with Blackstone Audio to distribute the audio version of House of Rougeaux worldwide. Look for CD or downloadable versions of House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel and narrated by Bahni Turpin at all your favorite audiobook vendors on April 24th, 2018. Also, you can order the book on CD through your favorite bookstore.

 

Here’s pre-order links for all versions on Amazon and Downpour.

 

Cover Reveal

Announcing the launch of House of Rougeaux, a debut novel from Jenny Jaeckel: to be published in April 2018. This seven-part family epic begins on the Island of Martinique and follows the descendants of African slaves as they survive, emigrate and flourish over a 200-year period. Replete with magical elements, this inspiring tale masterfully explores gender, race, sexuality, trauma and healing.

See the author’s own original ink illustrations on our instagram campaign (not included in the book) and follow Jaeckel’s musings on her blog: www.jennyjaeckel.com.

Stay tuned for more about our book launch! Preorder now online!