Smith’s debut novel introduces readers to Hoodoo, a 12-year-old African American boy living in Alabama in the 1930s. Hoodoo got his name because of the heart-shaped birthmark under his eye, believed to be a mark of his family’s talent at folk magic. Unfortunately, Hoodoo is incapable of casting a spell. But that doesn’t stop him from being drawn into the supernatural world of talking crows, traveling souls, and the Stranger, who comes into town looking for him specifically.
SPOILER!!! RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!
Hoodoo’s first-person narrative, which flows beautifully, has an appealing natural cadence.
Through his protagonist, Smith demonstrates an eye for detail and a knack for evocative imagery as well as for telling a riveting story with a dollop of southern gothic appeal.