Guest Post: A.J. Raven
Murder Is A Family Affair by Donalie Beltran actually gave me chills. The fact that it’s a true story really made me wonder about my own family tree. No doubt, it’s very different from the books I’m accustomed to reading. I mostly read about magic and the paranormal, but MIAFA got me hooked from the very first page. You can easily tell if a book is good or not by reading the first few lines. I instantly knew that what I was reading was going to be a splendid experience.
The story opens with a funeral: The funeral of Henry Tuxhorn and the author does an amazing job explaining about the characters and August Tuxhorn. August is the person we get to know more about in the coming chapters, and it’s not pleasant. You try to feel sorry for him, considering what his father, Henry, did, but it’s hard. August is not a character you can feel sorry for. It seems that the evil runs in his blood and I guess that’s what the author is trying to tell us. It’s really weird to see how August, one who hated his father, slowly turns into the person he detests. We see the transformation unfold as the story progresses and trust me; you too will feel sorry for the characters that cross his path. Just when you think it’s all over, Charles, August’s son comes into the picture….shivers!
I really liked how the author treated the father-son dynamics. Not only that, the female characters especially Elizabeth, deserve a mention as well. I enjoyed Elizabeth’s character. I feel for her and can understand her actions because of the experiences she went through. The character that took me by surprise was Charles’s wife, fondly called Nettie by him. Can such a woman really exist? There are also other things touched upon. Such as the things women had to face back in the 1850’s, even in America. Women were helpless at that time. John Friesen’s character was a pleasant surprise, trying to make up for his daughter’s wrongs. Charles and Nettie seem to be ‘perfect’ for each other, but I was glad to see that end: birds of a feather do flock together, even if they both are crazy.
I actually let out a breath of relief during the Epilogue once the fate of the other Tuxhorn kids was revealed. At least some of them got the freedom they deserved. MIAFA is one of those stories that leave you with a peculiar feeling. You will feel glad to have read the story, but uncomfortable because the end didn’t feel ‘complete’….remember the film ‘No Country for Old Men’? Or the Goosebumps series? Not uncomfortable in a bad way, but just an uneasy feeling regarding what you just read and how all of this was actually true!
Murder Is A Family Affair is a well-written and well-edited story that everyone will enjoy. I did and I know you all will too. So, you think evil is ‘Nature vs. Nurture’? Give this book a read and we’ll talk about it.