Creatures of Passage

Akashic. Mar. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781617758768. $25. F
In a setting resembling Washington, DC, but very much its own place, a psychic mother, a missing father, an estranged aunt, a small boy, a murdered twin, a haunted sky-blue Plymouth Belvedere, and a predatory monster all figure in a compelling story. At its heart is the extraordinary Kinwell family, anchored by Nephthys Kinwell, who ferries people around town in the Plymouth. It’s the late 1970s, with poverty, drugs, racism, and sexual abuse as backdrop, and the Kinwells use their magical powers to help and serve their neighbors. They have plenty of work to do, but each works separately from the others. When the youngest member of their own family is threatened, the Kinwells find that only together can they save their boy and themselves.
VERDICT Skillfully blending fantasy and stark reality while blurring the line between the metaphoric and the tangible, Yejidé (Time of the Locust) successfully tells the story in fits and starts as each major character adds a piece to the puzzle. YA and adult fiction readers alike will enjoy. Highly recommended.
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