The Between by Tananarive Due

The Between Readalong: Week 2

Ladies of Horror Fiction Readalong of The Between by Tananarive Due

We have more questions than answers with this week’s section of The Between, but we are loving the story Tananarive Due is crafting.

If you are just now joining us, we are up to chapter 23 in our discussion this week. You can click here to see last week’s discussion if you’d like! (If you want to hop in, we are finishing up The Between for a final discussion next Sunday.)

The Ladies of Horror Fiction team has come up with some discussion questions, and we’d love to hear your thoughts as well!


1. What do you think the significance of the children’s names have to what’s happening in the story so far?

Emily: In all honesty, I’m not sure about the name stuff & whether or not it will have significance. I am useless.

Jen: I think the names are supposed to make us nervous about the safety of the kids. It’s working!

Lilyn: I think it’s obviously supposed to feel significant, given everything we’ve learned. If it’ll actually be significant… time will tell.

2. Do you think one or both of the children is/are in danger of dying? Why or why not?

Emily: Yes, I think one of the children will probably die. My guess is Kaya based on her being in the dreams and whatever is going on with the warnings that she couldn’t have been born.

Jen: I think Kaya will live, but I don’t feel like everyone in the family is safe.

Tracy: Honestly I think one or both of them are in danger of dying. Kaya has a “special” name for protection, but Jamal doesn’t.

Lilyn: I think there’s been more page time focused on Kaya than Jamal, so he feels like the disposable child here. Why spend a lot of page-time on the one you’re going to off so that the more important one survives? Could be wrong, though!

3. What do you think is happening with Hilton and all the times he thinks something happened or that he did something that turns out not to be the case?

Emily: I think that Hilton is traveling between parallel universes. It feels so much like Fringe!

Jen: I agree with Emily. I think he’s moving between “doors” in his sleep, and he doesn’t yet know how he’s doing it.

Tracy: I think Hilton is jumping from possible timeline to possible timeline. Think Back to the Future when Biff messes with the past and there’s an alternate future.

Lilyn: I think possible timelines, like Tracy. However, I think it’s really interesting that so far he appears to be doing it only at the point in which he would have died in his particular timeline. (The drowning, the crash, etc.)

4. Do you think anyone was really there at the end in his backyard?

Emily: I feel like someone was in the backyard…but on the other hand, maybe not. It’s the perfect set-up to make him seem crazy, so I’m thinking someone was there.

Jen: I think the other guy is walking in and out of a “door”, and he was there for a moment in the backyard.

Tracy: I don’t know. Hilton is so far out of it that I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

Lilyn: I think there was. I’m not sure who, but I think there was. Ooh, or maybe he was having flashes from the other timeline!

5. Why, do you think, Kaya is able to dream-walk without having had a death/near-death experience like Hilton, Raul’s patient and Grandma?

Emily: I really have no idea why Kaya can dream walk. Maybe it has something to do with her possibly dying like I mentioned above, but I don’t really have any guesses on it since she doesn’t have that in common. Maybe the fact that she shouldn’t have been born is close enough to a NDE for this?

Jen: I’m not certain Kaya hasn’t had a near death experience. Hilton has had some wild dreams, and I’m wondering if we have seen glimpses of other “doors” where Kaya perished.

Tracy: Perhaps it’s her special name that allows her this leeway.

Lilyn: *putting on Yoda-like expression* Supposed to live she wasn’t, mm. Special she is, mm. That which is not supposed to exist cannot be bound by the rules of this world’s Force.


Nobody’s chasing us away from our home.

He was changing, in small pieces. He was losing himself.

Every day I look at you in the mornings and I can barely remember who you are.

There’s no joy in fucking the dead.

I thought it was all for you, but I left you a curse, not a blessing.

I don’t think I’m really awake sometimes.


We are very excited to have you guys reading The Between along with us. We would like to host another a giveaway as a thank you for joining in!

Prize: We will be giving away one copy of a horror book written by a woman author (to be announced at the end of the readalong!) to one randomly selected participant.

How to enter: Comment on our discussion posts throughout The Between readalong to be entered into the giveaway. You will receive one entry each week you join in. In your comment, share your thoughts on the current week’s section of The Between, share your favorite quotes, or post a link where we can find your thoughts on the current week’s section.


  • Flossie

    -I think there are definitely multiple universes and in one of them, Hilton died in the almost-car accident that occurred in an earlier chapter, when he knocked his forehead against the glass. He died in the water too. The talk of doors makes me think he keeps finding exits out of death.

    -I called it! Hilton’s birthday is March 12, same as Charles Ray, making them both Pisces water babies. Might not mean anything but was interesting to me. They even mention the zodiac!

    -“I love you more than this world, Dede,” makes me think Hilton knows subconsciously that he will be giving up his life to save his wife and family. He loves them more than he loves being in the world.

    -Loved all the stuff with his mother-in-law, and the naming of the children. I’m afraid his kids are also living borrowed lives. Charles Ray seems to be an “agent” sent to right the wrong of Hilton having survived this long.

    • LoHFAdmin

      You did call it about the birthdays!! And that’s a very good point about Charles Ray possibly being an agent sent to right the wrongs! I bet it ends up being something like that. The universe finding a balance and stuff!

  • kimberlykay3

    It’s letting me comment!
    1. I feel that the names are significant because the children wrmere never supposed to have been born, as Hilton was supposed to drown before that. Kaya has the name “protection”, whereas Jamal does not.

    2. Because of the name-protection, and the fact that Kaya doesn’t seem bound by one set of rules (she can dream-walk without having “died”), I feel that Jamal is in danger.

    3. I think that in dream-state, and every time he cheats death (the crash), Hilton is flirting between different timelines. What “is”, and what “could have been” had a variable been taken/added in.

    4. I think someone was in the backyard, just not sure if it was on the plain that his family can see ;his “dream-walk).

    5. Kaya “shouldn’t “ have been born according to the logic that Hilton should have died as a boy. Since her name gives her some sort of protection from death, I think she is really part of BOTH timelines.

    I need to know how this ends!!🖤😂

  • Alice J Black

    I’m enjoying the read so far and eager to tuck into the rest!

    1. I’m not sure the children’s names hold any significance. Obviously the protection means something and potentially it could mean they are left more vulnerable, particularly Kaya.

    2. I think Kaya is in more danger. She features more both in the narrative and in his dreams.

    3. I think there’s definitely something going on with alternate timelines, maybe parallel worlds. Maybe all of this has happened to him in another universe and he’s seeing/dreaming of the other him. Its interesting that each of the things that may or may not have happened is pivotal to the story.

    4. I do think there’s someone in his back yard but who it could be is another question. Saying that, Hilton’s paranoia is extreme and there’s also a chance he’s seeing things that aren’t there.

    5. Maybe Kaya can dream walk because of the swift name change at birth. Maybe it affected her soul and almost split it so she has some supernatural ability, almost like she’s on the cusp of this world and another.

  • Art-and-stories

    1. The names suggest that their lives are in danger in some way.
    2. I think both children are in danger of being unborn, meaning I feel that if these realities are parallel and tied with time travel, the kids can be unborn if Hilton opens the wrong door.
    3. It feels like Hilton is moving between slices of time, but that also doesn’t seem right. I find myself asking “what the hell is going on?” Throughout this book. His “journeys” are not clear of how and why.
    4. I think there was someone in the backyard. Hilton may be losing it but I felt he was very sure of what he saw.
    5. I’m not sure about this. I’m confused lol.

    Overall, I feel like he is time traveling between dimensions or moments in time but how he is doing this is unclear. There seems to be no clear why and how to his surreal experiences. I want answers!

  • Mia L.

    1) The children’s name speak a lot to this story now that the explaniton of them came up. I think Kaya has the same or similar abilities as her dad. She seems to be the one that is most protected. I worry for Jamal since he doesn’t have a traditonal name. 2) I think Jamal is definitely in danger. I am not sure why its just a feeling I have. 3) Hilton has some kind of ability or maybe his daughter has an ability and its affecting him. I am super curious ast to what is going on with him but I have not been able to piece together all the clues yet. 4) Yes, but whether it was that guy or an animal who knows. 5) We have not been told Kaya has had a near death experience but it is possible she could have had one. Maybe we will find this out later in the story? If she has not had one she could just have had been born with her abiltiy.

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