Book of the Week:

In an ancient house, whose origin is rather misunderstood, lives a family that is not like any other known family. They are a family of ghouls and ghosts, creepies and crawlies, the walking undead, and one lone mortal boy.

This family and this house are the focal point of Ray Bradbury’s, “From the dust returned.” This novel is compiled of what seems to be a bunch of short stories that all revolve around a few main characters. The main members of the family are; the daughter Cecy, the son Timothy, the only mortal, the parents, and the grandparents, who are ancient Egyptian mummies.

The continuity of the novel is rather unclear, in fact there isn’t much of an actual plot until the last 50 pages. The rest of the book just sets up the background for each character-each of which have very fascinating histories.

One of the most interesting stories is the story of Cecy, a young girl who spends all her time asleep and dreaming. But the greatest part of her dreams is the fact that she is actually asteralprojecting. She is constantly moving from one host to another, soaking up as much information and data about the world that rejects her and her family as possible.

She lives the lives of rocks, trees, animals, and the occasional summer lovers.

Another great character, my personal favorite, is the small and fragile Timothy. He was left to the family, the only living member, to record their lives and history. He spends most of his time chatting with his sister, Cecy, or to his A Thousand Times Great Grandmere, the mother of Nefertiti. He is constantly lamented with the fact that he is different from the rest of his “family,” but by the end of the novel he has come to terms with mortality.

The family all comes together for the great Homecoming. All the ancient members gather in the House for a reunion. Traveling from Europe, the family members range from the cats of Egyptian Pharoahs, to great winged men, to creepy echoes and the howls of wolves.

One of the uncles, whose history resembles that of Vlad the Impaler, joins the reunion only to be turned away. He then travels to the nearest town to drink and talk about the family. He even goes to the police to try and report them there. But that’s when Cecy jumps in and begins to pummel her uncle with the sound of holy bells. He goes running out of the station screaming out the family name.

The family, out of fear of the citizens, retreat from the house and scatter themselves throughout the country. They leave the house abandoned for years. Eventually, Timothy returns to show the house to a museum curator. He introduces the curator to his Thousand Times Great Grandmere and encourages him to not only talk to her, but also to listen.