MORMAMA is a riveting supernatural, southern gothic tale from Kit Reed, the author of Where.
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Dell Duval has been living on the street since his accident. He can't remember who he was or where he came from. All he has is a tattered note in his pocket with an address for the Ellis house, a sprawling, ancient residence in Jacksonville. He doesn't know why he's been sent here.
In the house, Lane and her son Theo have returned to the ancient family home—their last resort. The old house is ruled by an equally ancient trio of tyrannical aunts, who want to preserve everything. Nothing should ever leave the house, including Lane.
Something about the house isn't right. Things happen to the men and boys living there. There are forces at work one of which visits Theo each night—Mormama, one mama too many.
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Veteran novelist Reed returns to her Southern roots in this unsatisfying gothic fantasy, a follow-up to 2015's Where. Theo and his mother, Lane, are forced to return to the crumbling ancestral house in Jacksonville, Fla., where Lane's three widowed aunts still dwell. Theo quickly realizes there are two more occupants of the house: Dell, an itinerant man with amnesia who has taken up squatting in the basement, and the titular Mormama, the long-dead matriarch of the family. While Lane looks for a job and a way out, and Theo ignores Mormama's warnings about the house's fatal effect on the family's boys, Dell tries to understand what his connection is to the house and digs deeper into its secrets. Despite the intriguing promise of a good ghost tale, the story fails to fuse together, and it ends with no resolution or offer of clarity. Instead, the house's ancient histories are retold by a dozen different voices, retreading the same ground until the reader feels as trapped as the characters.