My Soul to Keep - Tananarive Due

Jessica is happily married with David. What Jessica doesn´t know is that David´s real name is Dawit, he is 450 years old and he is a member of a secret cult, whose members all are immortals. As David´s life with his mortal family gets threatened, he has to make difficult decisions. The question is, will Jessica approve of these decisions?


Let me say this right up front, I really hated this book with a vengeance. It´s so incredibly boring, I had to drag my way through it. But that is not the worst thing about it. Towards the end this novel turns from boring to downright disgusting and I´m contemplanting to sue the author and the publisher for killing off innocent trees. Trees shouldn´t have died for this garbage (even recycling paper is to good for it). So I loathed the story, I didn´t like the characters and the constant mentioning of religion and miracles really grated on my nerves. Everything else I have to say about this book I will put behind a spoiler tag. And be warned, I will spoil the whole damn thing.


But before I do that I will mention the one thing in this novel, that made me chortle (in disbelief and with a lot of eye rolling):


The secret cult has a total of 85 members and their philosophy is that the world belongs to them and the 7.4 billion mortal humans are merely tolerated on earth. I´m actually waiting for the author to write a book about the time, when all the mortals are dead. I´m wondering how 85 people are going to manage the whole world *headslap*.


Lets start with David. In the beginning he is that picture perfect guy, too good to be true. But deep down he is a despicable person with sociopathic tendencies. Let me present the best of David:


  1. He kills his own 80 year old daughter, because she is terminally ill and he can´t stand to look at her sickness.
  2. He kills Jessica´s colleague, because he has reasons. Or maybe not. When Jessica confronts him with this killing, he admits that it has been a mistake killing said person.
  3. He kills the cat. Okay, he makes the cat immortal afterwards. But still, he kills the cat!
  4. He takes Jessica on a road trip into a swamp. There aren´t any means of communication with the outside world. On this trip he wants to prove Jessica, that he cannot die. So he gets in the bathtub, commits harakiri (his guts are spilling out and so on) and his wife has to watch him die. And then she has to watch him wake up the next day. He definitely deserves the "husband of the year" award.
  5. And trust me. That not even the worst thing he has done in this book. I will come back to it later.


And then there is Jessica. She is just mindnumbingly stupid and I can´t connect with a character, who has the word IDIOT written over her head in big glaring letters. She basically excuses everything that she (and he, for that matter) does with the love that she feels for David. Apparently he is dream hunk material and I just don´t get it. At one point Jessica asks David, why he has fallen in love with her? And I can´t answer this question, because these two people and their feelings are so poorly written, I cannot feel one shred of love between these two (oh yeah, the sex is spellbinding, so maybe that is enough *eyeroll*)


And now to the worst thing: David wants to perform the immortality ritual on Jessica and their daughter (and he doesn´t even ask if they want this). So he drugs them both, kills them and infuses them with his blood. He is successful with Jessica, but poor Kira has to die, because he gets interrupted while perfoming the ritual. So he kills his own daughter.

Two years later, David and Jessica are estranged (he killed her daughter, after all), he seeks out Jessica and instead of chasing him of the property with a pitchfork, he is accepted into her house to talk. And he is giving this speech, how he will love her forever and he will wait for her. Jessica response: "Oh, he is waiting for me, forever. Maybe, someday ..."


What the .... How could she .... *sigh* Okay. There is no way that I can tolerate this crap. He strangled his innocent five year old daughter and it´s getting dismissed like it is nothing. And to be honest, the fact that the spirit of Kira is getting accompanied to heaven by the ghost of her diseased grandfather and the dead dog, doesn´t make anything of it better. The blatant disregard for human life that Tananarive Due puts on display in this novel makes me sick to my stomach. This novel is a disgusting and atrocius piece of garbage and I hope that I will never have to read a book again, which is as goddamn awful as this one.

(show spoiler)