Home » Book Club » My Soul to Keep

My Soul to Keep

Well, well, well.  Where to begin?

I almost gave up on this book.  Several times.  It started off soooo slow.  I had a very hard time getting into it and honestly, if it had not been for Jameil’s encouraging me to continue, I’d of put it down and walked away.   But boy am I glad I hung in until the end.  Loved it!

After digging around a bit on the internets I learned that My Soul to Keep is the first book of a trilogy by Ms. Due – I definitely plan to finish the trilogy as well as read Ms. Due’s other books.  I love discovering “new” authors and am glad to have found Tananarive Due’s talents.

And while I realize this is particularly trifling of me, I don’t really feel like doing a review/synopsis of the book this early in the morning, so just head over to the comments and let me know what you thought of it.  Okay?  Okay!

So…what’d you think about the book?  Who was your favorite character?  Why?  Did you think about immortality as you read?  Do you think you’d want to live forever?  Why?  Why not?  Did you “like” David/Dawit?  What about Jessica?  I’ll try to answer these questions in my responses to your postings.

Oh, and today’s weight – 170.4.  Down 1.6 pounds from last week.  Oh yeah, I’m smiling 🙂

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35 thoughts on “My Soul to Keep

  1. I’m not going to lie and pretend I re-read the book, but I did enjoy the first time around. I don’t think I’d want to live forever–it would be hard to form relationships, knowing you’d outlive everyone. I admired Dawit for wanting to “save” his family, but I also thought it was a little selfish of him. I’ll comment on other folks’ comments ’cause I can’t remember all the details of the book.

    • I think only Jameil and I read this one…we shall see.

      I do think Dawit was more “flawed” than I expected him to be – I had to keep reminding myself that he was human – immortal yes, but still a human being and that meant he’d have flaws. He was not perfection. Once I realized he was going to kill Peter, I didn’t think things were going to turn out as “well” as they did.

    • It was incredibly selfish in part because he was determined to do it no matter what the consequences. Really??? You’re just going to do whatever you want and no discussion is allowed??? Unless you’re in agreement???

  2. Son! I loved this book! I was in from the nursing home scene! I liked all of the characters, flaws and all! I really did! I’m so glad you finished it! I read it in less than 48 hours and was TOO excited when I learned it continues! Can’t wait! I wanted to pick a book by her because I did a film about her mom & aunt. I read the nonfiction book her and her mom wrote, Freedom in the Family, but had wanted to read her fiction for a while. My mom LOVES her books!

    Back to MSTK I definitely wouldn’t want to live forever. Even with people I love to be there for the journey. There’s also the stress of having to uproot yourself when you meet new people and use new names. Technically if you were a recluse, you could continue to use the same name for more than 100 years but otherwise you’re in a constant state of fear of discovery of your secret. When he started killing up people, I was like, FOR REAL!? You can’t come back from this!! I was surprised he felt something.

    I was really amused that he hated current events! LOLOL I don’t know why this was so amusing to me. I was like, will he like them more in 400 years??? Then I started thinking (again) about how little any of this will matter in even 50 years. Like the day ABC News announced TWICE on its twitter feed that Kim Kardashian has psoriasis. Un.follow.

    I also really liked Uncle Willy! I kept wanting him to tell everybody! I also wanted him and Dawit to be friends. Two old souls. Ah well.

    • His hatred of current events tickled me too! He was like “I’m immortal…this trifling ish matters not…”

      Did you think Dawit pushed Alexis when you first read about her “suicide attempt?” I was literally yelling at the book and then I realized that Mahmoud was a more likely suspect. Duh.

      • Yes.. Mahmoud. I couldn’t remember his name for the life of me. I figured it wasn’t a suicide attempt, and I got so frustrated when she was trying to tell them that she was pushed and they couldn’t understand her.

      • It really was but their need to protect their colony and by extension, themselves, is a great necessity. Their leader, probably in part b/c of his head start on immortality, was definitely the cooler head that prevailed. He didn’t seem to encourage the killings, even disliking the beheading rituals. I look forward to more from him in future books.

      • I’m looking forward to hearing more about Khaldun as well. I wonder if the next book in the series will touch on how Khaldun feels about Jessica and her sister’s work with their clinic. I would think that since he’s so level headed, and sort of like the equilibrium with all of the other immortals, that he’d be cool about them healing the sick. After all, they wouldn’t be immortal without having the words of the spell chanted anyway. ..

  3. I absolutely LOVED the book and I’m interested in reading more from Due. I checked out the book from the library and I really don’t want to bring it back. I need to collect her novels. Eventually, I’ll go out and buy My Soul to Keep.

    My favorite character was Dawit/David! Although in the end I thought he was selfish for making Jessica and attempting to make his daughter immortal, a part of me also believes that he was really doing it out of love.

    I’ve always wondered and lingered on the thought of living forever; but, after reading this book, it opened my eyes to what I’d likely experience. I’d be living to watch everyone I’d ever met, die before my eyes. And I don’t think watching my old ones age and die is worth the knowledge that Dawit, and the other immortals, longed to attain would be worth it for me.

    Throughout the book, it seemed as though Dawit became frustrated with his decision to be immortal. He had fallen in love before and had to leave his families. I couldn’t imagine doing so if I had the choice or not. And he didn’t even have a choice. Regardless of his immortality, he still felt that of a mortal. He was still vulnerable when it came to love. And I think that’s why I was able to sympathize with him.

    The ending was okay to me. Before I got to the part where Kira was in the hotel, I knew she was going to die when her grandfather told her that story. Foreshadowing at its best, if I may say so myself. I liked the part where Jessica’s sister was able to do what she loved but I was hoping that Jessica would have not said anything about it. Granted, I probably wouldn’t have been able to contain my curiosity but I just didn’t like her betrayal. But this was because I was all Pro-Dawit.

    Nevertheless, the ending made me look forward to Due’s next book. By the way, I also knew Jessica was pregnant when Khaldun sent for the searcher (I forgot his name) – and again, foreshadowing at its best.

    • I loved the foreshadowing in most cases, too! It let you know what was going to happen but not how. I felt like a detective gathering all of the clues together! “Regardless of his immortality, he still felt that of a mortal.” This!! That is DEFINITELY what made him so likeable despite his flaws! He was above it all but still in it all.

      I, too, was disappointed in Jessica’s betrayal. Like YOU CAN’T HOLD WATER!!! You knew for all of …. 5 days and you gotta spread it to the world!? That is your HUSBAND. Failure. Oh and I kept waiting for the cave to be bugged, too.

      • Ha! That was EXACTLY what I said. LOL.

        Right – that was her husband – but I guess to her blood is thicker than water, regardless of the fact that water tastes better. “/

    • I was surprised at how…surprised Dawit was that Jessica was mourning Peter’s death. Dawit knew what it felt like to lose someone you love yet that surprised him? He just seemed a little dense for someone with thousands of years of life behind him.

      I probably would’ve told it all too – I can’t lie! That’s a lot to keep to oneself 🙂

      • I was surprised he was surprised by her mourning for a minute. Then I realized, why wouldn’t he be surprised by her mourning? What mortals had he been around for long enough to experience any of their pain? He was around until it got tough for HIM, not them.

        I can’t say I would’ve kept it to myself forever but it was less than a month! Sheesh!

      • @ Jameil – see, I thought he was thinking of his daughter Rosalie when he killed her. I saw that as a mercy killing of sorts – a bit of a win/win if you will. She wasn’t suffering any longer/he didn’t have to see her suffer. Besides he grieved the slave wife – you think it was all from his standpoint? Hmmm.

      • With all of the knowledge that he gained, you would think that he would be aware of how Jessica, a mortal, would react to it. But I guess that’s a result of him being immortal, he’s also immune to feeling any type of compassion for those mortals that he feel as less than him. I think that’s the one thing I hated about his character. It was clear that he loved Jessica and his family, but any other mortal he could care less about.

    • I didn’t think of Rosalie as a mercy killing. He hated seeing her like that so he took her out. I didn’t really get the impression that she was suffering. I didn’t feel like as an absentee father he had that right. You haven’t been around all this time, go that way. I’m sure he could’ve appeared to her ‘as a ghost’ if he wanted to be around. (I love how this book makes me say stuff like that! The characters are so vibrant!)

      With his slave wife, the mourning was still all from his perspective. He saw her pain, but there was no child he was around to witness mourning the loss of her life. All the mourning that loss was his own. How would he know about the impact of mourning on mortals? Maybe he thought he felt it keenly b/c he could never forget and it felt like yesterday. I kept waiting for the story of how he avenged her death against the men directly responsible. Man I wanted that so bad!!!!

      • @ Rae, his relationship with Jessica’s family was downright creepy!! I can’t even imagine my sister marrying a man like that!!

  4. I’ve read My Soul to Keep and The Living Blood, Bood Colony is sitting on the side of my bed waiting to be cracked open. All I have to say is that if you loved My Soul to Keep, you are not going to be able to put The Living Blood down for an instant. Ms. Due is an exceptional writer!

  5. I am pleased to know what is in store for me as I complete MSTK. I ordered the book because it was not in the book stores or available on my reader. It took almost 3 weeks for my book to get her so I did not finish. I am about 1/4 finished. So far so good. I am liking the character development, the dialogue attention to details without being cumbersome. I guess I will review this again all by myself when I finish 🙂

  6. Can I just say that I’m overjoyed at this book selection? I’m so happy that you chose Madame Due’s work. I think I gushed about her books in your comments before. She is such a talented writer! MSTK was/is supposed to be turned into a movie…

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