House of Rougeaux
by Jenny Jaeckel
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 04 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2021
Orphaned and enslaved on a sugar plantation on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Abeje and her brother Adunbi survive by the kindness of fellow bondsmen and through their uncommon abilities—Adunbi with animals, and Abeje with healing plants.
Years later, when Adunbi’s daughter Hetty is taken away to Canada, she gains her freedom and marries Dax Rougeaux, an ambitious mulâtre saddler, beginning the powerful Rougeaux family line. Among Hetty’s children, grandchildren, and beyond, different family members take the spotlight and each must grapple with their own struggles—Guillaume Rougeaux’s forbidden love, Eleanor’s illegitimate child and her impossible dream in music, Rosalie’s role in saving her brother from being drafted into the service to fight in Vietnam.
Spanning seven generations and traveling from Martinique to Montreal, New York, and Philadelphia, weaving magic and mystery with the hard truths of their times, the Rougeaux family comes alive on every page.
A Note From the Publisher
2019 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal Award - Historical Fiction
"Read this one with a box of tissues, because every other page will move you to tears." -HelloGiggles
"Jaeckel's graceful prose and clear purpose make this an excellent addition to historical novels about the French Caribbean." -Literary Hub
"A wonderful read." -Historical Novel Review
Average rating from 4 members
House of Rougeaux What a beautifully written multigenerational family saga. Before I say anything else, I want to say how gorgeous the cover of this book is. It’s what drew me in to take a closer look at the book itself. The vibrant green and the leaves in my mind I believed to be representative of the healing power of the plants and the luscious green of the island of Martinique. Just stunning. This story captivated me from the beginning. It begins on the Caribbean island of Martinique in 1785 with a brother (Adunbi) and sister (Abeja) born into slavery on a sugarcane plantation. Abeja has the ability to heal and see spirits. Adunbi has a natural ability to communicate with the animal life. The severe difficulties and unjustness they face is clear but we also see the bonds, care and sense of community that keep them going during the most difficult of circumstances. The story follows Adunbi’s daughter Hetty through to Montreal where she meets Dax Rougeaux. Chronologically we move back and forth through the years meeting various offspring of the Rougeaux family. It takes us on journeys from Martinique, Philadelphia, Montreal, New York, Toronto and more. There are several interesting issues that we have insight into such as the draft, racism, homosexuality, unwanted pregnancy. I loved that music was passed through the generations as was the ability for certain family members to inherit the ability to see and heal. I finished the book last night and woke up thinking so much about the characters and their lives, the family bonds and their situations this morning. This was such a moving novel. I enjoyed reading it immensely. I am grateful to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for providing me with an ARC of the House of Rougeaux in exchange for my honest review.