The Between by Tananarive Due
LOHFReadalong

The Between Readalong: Week 3

Ladies of Horror Fiction Readalong of The Between by Tananarive Due

This is our final week of reading and discussing Tananarive Due’s The Between. Thank you so much to everyone who read The Between with us this month!

If you missed out on our previous discussions, be sure to check out the week one and week two discussions of our LOHF readalong.

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

Discussion

1.Would you shelve The Between as horror? Why or why not?

Tracy: I would shelve it as horror – there are enough elements to classify it as such for me

Emily: Yes, I would, especially because of the nightmares.

Lilyn: No. I would shelve it as a supernatural mystery or something. While it’s got some great imagery that’s typically horror, this really isn’t about anything horrific. It’s about a man with a special ability that tries to protect his family.

Laurie: I would shelve it as dark fiction because I am a cheater, haha . It had some dark, nightmarish scenes so it could slide into horror.

2. What do you think is going to happen to the kids? Will they also be tormented by dreams? Will they be travelers now because Hilton sacrificed his life like Nana did for him?

Tracy: I think Kaya may be in danger of travelling- she seems to have some proclivity for it already.

Emily: Yes, I think so. Nana said something about thinking she was helping, and I think he restarted the cycle for his kids.

Lilyn: I think Kaya will. She’s always seemed like the ‘special’ one. I don’t expect anything like that from Jamil though.

Laurie: I think the kids are going to be tormented by nightmarish dreams Iike Hilton was because I am all doom and gloom and they weren’t really supposed to have been born.

3. Put yourself in Hilton’s shoes. How do you think you’d react if you were going through something supernatural and everyone assumed you were having delusions?

Emily: I really don’t know. It would be upsetting. I would probably be super angry like he was.

Tracy: Honestly, I don’t know. I tend to keep things inside so perhaps maybe a little like Hilton. I don’t see myself going to those extremes, though.

Laurie: I would be frustrated and angry but I wouldn’t cheat on my spouse 😬 😳. He lost most of my compassion when he went and did that – even if it was a dream walk.

Lilyn: I would react exactly the way he did.

4. What are your overall thoughts on The Between and the way Tananarive Due crafted all of the elements together? Did you enjoy it?

Tracy: I loved this book. All of the threads come together and her writing is beautiful and seamless.

Emily: I loved this book, and I was also really impressed that it was her debut novel. She’s so talented, and wove everything together so well. I feel like it’s easy to leave loose threads in a story like this, but it felt complete to me.

Lilyn: Overall ? I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. Especially when I consider the fact that this was her debut book. She did a fantastic job bringing all the elements together, and keeping my attention throughout the book.

Laurie: I enjoyed it. I enjoy flawed characters even if they piss me off and I felt like it explained things well in the end.

5. Was this your first Tananarive Due book? Will you be reading more from Due? (Which one do you hope to read next?)

Tracy: The Between was my first by her and I’m looking forward to the African immortals series (starting with My Soul To Keep) and The Good House

Emily: Yes, this was my first Due book! I have The Good House, My Soul to Keep, and Summer on my shelf, so it will be one of those. I can’t wait!

Lilyn: No, my first book was The Good House. I will read more of Due in the future, but I don’t have anything specific planned at the moment.

Laurie: This was my first read by Due. I’ll definitely read her again after I check out the blurbs.

Quotes

A lot of people think black children are aggressive, so you have to be smarter than that. Eyes are always watching you, Jamil. Remember that.

Evil is arrogant.

I hope I’m finished traveling.

This is real. The blood is real.

Had dreams finally taken his life hostage?

If I am cracking up, it’s because of my dreams.

Wherever I am is here. Here is wherever I’m safe. Where they can’t follow me.

No one is meant to live in the between.

They’re not dreams. There’s no such thing as dreams.

The houngan told her she walked between life, death, and the gods. She was unnatural, he said. She was between.

Every time she dreamed and woke up, she said, she felt as though things had shifted out of place.

Maybe all of them are real. Maybe none of them…I believe that wherever the spirit rests is that moment’s reality.

The water wanted you. That’s the only way I can put it. It was like we were fighting all of nature to bring you back.

I feel like everything is going to be different from now on.

Giveaway

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 next week!) 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.

17 Comments

  • Flossie

    I really loved this book, and was super impressed that it was Tananarive Due’s first book. I can’t wait to read her other work, especially The Good House which I keep seeing on lists. It’s actually pretty hard to find in stores though! And I’m avoiding Amazon.
    I’m curious what people thought was happening in the scene at the end. It seemed less like an ending and more like a beginning to something else entirely. We know Hilton is dead, but where is he? Is it the afterlife, or somewhere else in between? That closing scene was most fascinating to me. Thanks for the read-a-long!

    • LoHFAdmin

      Flossie, I got my copy through either BetterWorldBooks or Thriftbooks. BetterWorldBooks donates a book for every book you buy, so it’s a good alternative to Amazon for older titles.

    • Jen | Book Den

      Thanks for joining in! I got my copy of The Good House through Thrift Books. I hope you have luck finding it. I haven’t decided which one I’m going to read next!

  • kimberlykay3

    Trying to type all this up AGAIN—on phone, since computer doesn’t log in for some reason…
    1. I would classify it as “Dark Horror “, but there are enough supernatural elements and ideas there for me to slide it into the horror category.
    2. Kaya has already exhibited that she can converse with the dead.
    , and anticipates being a doctor. I feel her “name” saved her from a worse date. Jamil, however, I believe would die young, without ever knowing that he simply wasn’t meant to be born.
    3. If I were like Hilton, I’d keep the truth bottled up. I’d probably yell more, maybe cry, but not trust anyone to believe what’s so “incredible”.
    4. I felt her style was wonderful—fast flowing , with clues all throughout that you could begin piecing together.
    5. This was my first book by the author. I have a huge arc pile to get to, but I would definitely be up for a read in THE GOOD HOUSE in the future.

    • Jen | Book Den

      Glad you could post! This was my first book by Due as well. I have The Good House and My Soul To Keep. I’m not sure which one to read next!

    • Alex | Finding Montauk

      Looking back there were definitely so many clues – you’re right! But I am glad they weren’t SO obvious as to keep me wondering and guessing the whole time, too. I think it would be interesting to revisit this in a couple years or so to where the main premise is still known and maybe I will be able to pick up on more of these clues and see them through that perspective now

      • kimberlykay3

        That’s the best thing about re-reads–when you pick up on details that you didn’t (or forgot) in the prior reading!!

  • Mia L.

    1)No, I think it was more supernatural than horror. Also maybe a bit of mystery since Hilton was trying to figure out his problem. 2) Since we had a peak at Kaya’s abilities I believe she will be a traveler and I feel Jamil will have a normal life. 3) This would be a really hard thing to go through. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. 4) I liked it. It wasn’t jaw dropping but it held my attention and was well written. 5) Yes, this was my first book by her. I plan to look into her other books.

  • Hey Little Thrifter

    I’m chiming in at the end of the readalong because I read this last year so didn’t want to accidentally spoil something by commenting earlier! I thoroughly enjoyed The Between and I’m glad to hear it sounds like you all enjoyed it too 🙂
    1. Yes, it had enough elements (supernatural, nightmares, dark themes) for me to shelve it as horror.
    2. I think there is potential for one or both of the kids to experience things like Hilton did.
    3. It would be very difficult to deal with! I totally felt his frustration and confusion throughout the story.
    4. I really liked her writing and how she wove all the different elements of the story together. I loved the balance of the realistic characters and world alongside the supernatural/folklore/nightmare elements.
    5. This was my first but I’d love to read more by her!
    One of my favourite quotes was:
    “She’d become a veteran at fright now, and she’d learned how to nourish herself with it, growing stronger.”

%d bloggers like this: