Read Baby of the Family by Tina McElroy Ansa Online


An evocative, delicately comic story of a girl’s coming of age. From the moment of her birth in a rural black hospital in Georgia, Lena McPherson is recognized as a special child, with the power to see ghosts and predict the future. Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times....

Title : Baby of the Family
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780156101509
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 276 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Baby of the Family Reviews

  • Monica **can't read fast enough**
    2019-06-17 02:03

    Review to come

  • Gayle
    2019-07-10 06:55

    Here is another reason that I'm glad to have finally discovered the wealth of books by black authors. I hate that this book was published in 1989 and it was 2011 before I discovered Tina McElroy Ansa.Lena is a girl who was born with a caul. An elderly nurse explains to Lena's mother what she must do to keep Lena's 'gifts' positive, but the mother regards such as nonsense and destroys the caul.Lena is bothered by the ghosts she sees and doesn't share her experiences and fears with anyone.Later, the book becomes a coming of age story, which some readers found to be a cop out, but I didn't find it disconcerting at all.I'm reading as much to study the craft of the author as well as their story, and I was entertained throughout and am amazed at how good it is for a debut novel. Her imagery is superb.

  • Megan Baxter
    2019-06-29 04:44

    I had never heard of this book before it popped up on one of my lists put together from one of the Nancy Pearl Book Lust books, and likely would never have come across or read it, if I hadn't. That would have been too bad, because while I can't say it set my world on fire, it was thoroughly enjoyable, and a little on the enchanting side.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  • Jamal
    2019-06-27 05:40

    this novel has All the elements and components that makes a Novel awesome to me! Wish I had discovered this story much earlier.

  • Ruby Hollyberry
    2019-06-24 04:54

    I love this author, and this is her first book. I wish there were more than there are. There's the sequel to this: The Hand I Fan With, plus Ugly Ways and You Know Better which are in the same town but about other characters. There is supposed to be a sequel to Ugly Ways called Taking After Mudear, but I've not been able to find it in any bookstore or library so far. Borders doesn't even have the ISBN in their catalog!! So unfair!! I suppose they cut their African American fiction list down? Or perhaps the fact that these are more fantasy than fiction in places limits their appeal to some? I can only speculate. But I wish there were dozens and I had them all. Should appeal to anyone who likes ghost stories or alternatively, Sandra Dallas fans.

  • Mayastlpmc
    2019-07-14 01:39

    This is one of my favs.... It is full of strange happenings but, if you leave your mind open your heart will follow. ENJOY!!!!

  • Helen Ladson
    2019-06-29 07:46

    The follow up- The Hand I Fan With flows perfectly with this masterpiece!

  • Monalisa Watkins
    2019-06-18 06:45

    Excellent book and it addresses an underwritten (?) subject in Black fiction. Ms. Ansa is a great author. Reminds me of Tananarive Due. Love both.

  • Natasha
    2019-06-17 03:38

    I have had this book for many years and never finished it. I think it was too "old" for me when I received it because now that I've read it I wouldn't recommend this book for a child/tween. It was a very interesting story about a special little girl who grew up a little confused and a little scared because she could see things others couldn't. I like how the chapters were broken down into either an event, a person, or a set subject and just focused on that part of Lena's life. This was a definitely a refreshing coming of age story even with the supernatural spin on things. I'd recommend it to young adults and above.

  • Jill
    2019-06-26 06:36

    This is not something that I would have picked up on my own, but somehow it ended up on my to-read list. I think it came from a very old list of books with lesbian themes, although I never found one in it (except for a strange scene where two very young girls engage in sexual play without realizing what they are doing). It was kind of creepy at times, with the protagonist seeing ghosts and spirits. I'm not sure I really liked it, but I did appreciate getting a better understanding of African American culture around that time period.

  • Ronald Wise
    2019-06-20 08:00

    Tina McPherson is born in the Black hospital of a small town in Georgia with a caul over her face, and is from day one recognized as a "special" child. Nurse Brown takes steps to protect her from the evil aspects of this specialness, but her mother, not believing in the "old ways", sabotages her efforts. For me this was an interesting look at what it would be like to grow up as a Black girl, roughly my age, in the American South. This novel came to my reading list from Nancy Pearl's Book Lust recommendations named "African American Fiction: She Say", a list of fiction by Black women.

  • Bev
    2019-07-02 06:42

    After reading this book many years ago, I still can tell you about the story... It really stuck with me for some strange reason. This book even peeked my interest into the reality of spirits. I have found when I discuss this book with people and others hear the conversation, I discover/or someone reveals to me that they have the gift... It has really helped me to not judge people lightly and to respect and see others for who they are....UNIQUE....

  • Jesse Bullington
    2019-07-08 23:48

    I read this when I was coming down from The Salt Eaters, which I'll be the first to admit is a tough act to follow. A much more linear story, Baby of the Family has healthy doses of Gullah/Geechee folklore tied into its coming-of-age narrative. A lot to like in terms of Ansa's voice, and her focus is almost more on class than race. The sequel, on the other hand (I Fan With)...

  • keidra
    2019-06-22 04:39

    Tina McElroy Ansa had one great book in her and this was it. It's not billed as such, but BOTF is a sci-fi book as far as I'm concerned (with a psychic main character, how could it be anything but?)Rich, descriptive writing and an uncanny awareness of the inside life and thoughts of a child, especially a "different" one. She blows it all to hell in the sequel, but her literary voice is spot-on here.

  • LauraEllen
    2019-07-05 03:36

    Still one of my favorites. I am drawn back to Lena and her family over and over. Grandmama's painting, "Colored Folks Going to the Beach" needs to hang in my house! Most memorable chapter is "Hair" - Lena was whippin" her hair back and forth in 1989, long before Willow was a gleam in either Will or Jada's eye.

  • Elise
    2019-07-13 23:38

    This book was well-written and interesting and certain parts of it have stayed with me for quite a while. But it seemed to be missing something; it didn't seem complete to me. Themes arose but never returned. It did not fulfill its promise.

  • Tiana Freeman
    2019-07-04 06:34

    I couldn't sleep after reading the first few pages of this book. It gave me nightmares. As the story went on, the going ons from the beginning kind of died out. I feel like after awhile the plot went nowhere.

  • Linda
    2019-06-18 02:37

    Lena, the baby of a well off black family, is born with a veil over her face and the power to see ghosts.

  • Sharon
    2019-07-03 02:36


  • Shawn
    2019-06-22 02:51

    good, grandmother born with a call

  • Dacia
    2019-06-27 06:02

    This book was very interesting. There were some parts of the book that were like whoa!

  • Kaethe
    2019-07-13 03:57

    The baby was born with a caul over her head, which means she can see ghosts. A wonderful story about family.

  • Terri Ann
    2019-07-13 06:00

    Fast read. Interesting look at a southern black family and their culture.

  • Denita
    2019-06-25 01:52

    Interesting and easy to read...

  • Ramona Terry
    2019-07-12 05:33

    This is hands down one of my favorite books. I must've read it at least 5 times. The story telling is so good that it never gets old. I really really really LOVE this book.