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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi Book Review

Reasons for Reading This Book: 

One of my goals for this year with reading is to read books on topics that I usually do not choose to read about. I also want to read books that discuss hard topics, taboo topics, and topics that I do not know much about. One of the topics that I wrote down when I was making this goal was books on race and slavery. I want to read books that discuss the true history of racism and spurs intellectual conservations. When choosing which book I wanted to read for this topic I looked to the internet for help. As this is not I topic I know much about or can relate to I knew that looking to someone else who knows about this topic would be my best bet. I read reviews and descriptions of lots of books on different book lists for this topic. I also looked at my library for books on this topic but because it was the month before Black History month most of them were checked out. After lots of deliberation I chose to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I chose this not only because it had great reviews, but also because I liked that it was a familial story. I should also mention I read and reviewed this book in January of 2022 and am just now getting around to posting it as I had other book reviews to post first. 

Themes of This Book:

Fire, water, transgenerational or intergenerational trauma, inherited fears, family, power, 

Content of This Book:

Effia and Esi, two half-sisters, are born in different villages in Ghana in the eighteenth century. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives with him in the Cape Coast Castle. Esi is imprisoned below the castle in the dungeons. She is sold into the Gold Coast's growing slave trade and shipped off to America where her family continues to be raised in slavery. The novel follows Esi's family through American slavery and the other follows Effia's descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana between the Fante and Asante nations as the nations battle with slave trade and British colonization up through present day.

What I Liked About This Book:

For starters I could not put it down. The characters and their stories drew me in from page one and kept me interested until the last word. I liked that this novel was educational but in a storytelling and easy to digest way. Yes, there were dates but more for the readers reference of the time and little focus on significant events that occurred on those dates. The vivid descriptions in this novel were phenomenal. One of my favorite descriptions was comparing a slug coming out of a cave to a child pulling a sucked thumb from their month. It felt more like a was watching a movie than reading a novel. This novel was memorable for so many reasons. The choice of breaking the novel into a section for each family was brilliant. I also found the family trees at the front of the novel to be very helpful. Another structural aspect of this novel that I liked was how each character got their own chapter. This gave importance and a spot light to them and their individual lives' and struggles. The plot flows from one chapter to the next effortlessly even though the perspective is two separate characters. Even though I cannot relate to the struggles and hardships of these characters, they author still made me feel connected and empathic for each and everyone one of them. Because of the impeccable writing of the author I felt every emotion as if I was right there with the character experiencing it with them. Without spoiling the ending, I loved it. Yaa wrapped up generations of stories, heartache, struggles, fear, oppression, and determination into one. With that being said there is still not an end to racism and the fight continues!!

What I Disliked About This Book:

I honestly did not dislike anything about this novel. 

Do I Recommend This Book?

Without a doubt I give it five stars and cannot recommend it enough. This novel sparks questions, conversations, reflection, and thought. I could not stop thinking about this novel while and after I read it. I was constantly talking to my teammates about it. I recommend this novel to everyone. I also think it would be an amazing and conversation-provoking choice for a book club. I can see why this novel was on so many of the book lists that I looked at. I say get yourself a copy of this novel and buckle up for an amazing read!!

Check out my book review for 2022!! 

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

Beach Read by Emily Henry
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!


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