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There ain't no haints in Detroit.
So spoke Francis Turner—patriarch and provider, former preacher and current truck driver—when his children claimed to have seen a ghost. A rising homeowner set to banish all the old ways for the promise of the new, Francis was having none of it. He and his wife worked hard to secure that house, to move up from Arkansas to Detroit, to make this life possible. He would not be haunted by the past.
And so a myth was born, where any one of the Turners might later repeat that phrase and be telling about so much more than haints.
The Turners live on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house sees thirteen children get grown and gone—and some return; it sees the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. Despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs, the house still stands. But now, as their powerful mother falls ill and loses her independence, the Turners might lose their family home. Beset by time and a national crisis, the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called back to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts might haunt—and shape—their family's future.
A major contribution to the literature on American families, The Turner House brings us a colorful brood full of love, pride, and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the American dream and a celebration of the ways in which our families bring us home.