“White Smoke” by Tiffany Jackson a “Thee Lit House Book Review”


It’s spooky book season and Tiffany Jackson understood the assignment. I would first like to just say I have become a huge fan of her writing. She has this amazing ability to layer a

so many relatable and relevant subjects that not only does it keep the reader engaged and in agreement to the point of saying “facts” out loud but I was shook and she is an awesome storyteller. This story Here had a laundry list of topics going on and I’m like girl, well done. Told from the voice of Marigold a 16 year old girl from California, who relocated to a small town in the Midwest with her Mom, her brother Sammy and new younger stepsister Piper in hopes to rehab and restart but this place is nothing like it seems.

Marigold is kind of glad to be in a new place after returning home from rehab after suffering a track injury and becoming addicted to percs and overdosing only to be found by her middle school aged brother Sammy. She feels horrible has lost the trust of everyone she knows, kicked off the track team and dealing with the threat of relapse daily. She’s off the Percs but still battling with addiction and uses weed to help her stay calm. She is in a new town where they know no one, they live on a street that seems abandon but surrounded by other streets filled with judging black faces and a grossly mistreated black community, who has a hard time trusting anyone new or period due to the sick history of their town. She meets a young Man who is helping his Uncle work on their historical home and they bond over their love for horticulture. This relationship helps her to see really see how her addiction affects her relationships and reality.

Her Mom has won this amazing job with what seems an infinite amount of perks, married a white Man with a malicious daughter who manipulates her Father, has imaginary friends and is disliked in school and maybe possessed taking sibling rivalry to a whole other level.

However the true star but this house, the people, the coworkers, the corporation, the police, the injustice it’s all mad weird. Marigold is dealing with racism, injustice, gentrification, interracial dating, separation from her loving Dad who is on assignment out if the country, not having a best friend anymore, the fear of relapsing but her biggest issue is. She is beginning to think the house is haunted, that Piper her little step sister is possessed as she talks about “Miss Sugar” constantly. That the neighborhood and her Moms new boss and the Preacher who is in TV selling “Manifestation Holy Seeds” are up to no good! As she begins to “follow the Money” she realizes this town is blocking the internet, someone is try to kill Sammy and that white people are weaponizing the emotions of Black people to make us violent and destroy our communities and the very places we call home. That the criminalization of marijuana has broken up the families here with harsh sentences and that one death of one family member has connected a mafia of people set on revenge when it’s all the fault of one person. Talk about DRAMA, this is a good read with some heavy but honest topics and I really need to take it to a classroom and decoded it!

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-Tah

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