The Books Of Joy - Alexis Brooks De Vita
"The poetry of a people comes from the deep recesses of the unconscious, the irrational and the collective body of our ancestral memories." - Margaret Walker

together with her daughter Anastasia and her cousin Charley, Eva Dennison leaves Los Angeles for Mississippi where she inherits a sharecropping plantation. no sooner have they settled in when things happen that blur the line between reality and myth.
author Alexis Brooks de Vita has written a literary dark fantasy with a Southern gothic flavor that explores the power and enigma of ancestral memories and their residual import on generations of African-Americans.
there is a palpable darkness hovering over each page - literally and figuratively - which deepens the mystery and strange goings-on at Eva's mansion. secrets abound from within and without the plantation. even after the house was renovated and electricity was installed, one can still feel the shadows closing in.
Eva's relatives are a strange lot as well and i kept wondering who was on whose side. to complicate things, there are shapeshifters, flying women and unearthly voices that manifest themselves. the question of what is real and how it was expounded and integrated into the story was one of the things that impressed me.
overall, this book kept me mesmerized and fascinated from beginning to end. the writing was flawless, the plot intriguing and the characters well fleshed out.

Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy of The Books of Joy Volume One: Burning Streams from the author herself. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.