A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in 18th-century Africa across 300 years in Ghana and America.
Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery.
Stretching from the wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to 20th-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's novel moves through histories and geographies and captures - with outstanding economy and force - the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.
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©2016 Yaa Gyasi (P)2016 Random House Audio
"Gyasi's characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved - very often I found myself longing to hear more. Craft is essential given the task Gyasi sets for herself - drawing not just a lineage of two sisters, but two related peoples. Gyasi is deeply concerned with the sin of selling humans on Africans, not Europeans. But she does not scold. She does not excuse. And she does not romanticize. The black Americans she follows are not overly virtuous victims. Sin comes in all forms, from selling people to abandoning children. I think I needed to read a book like this to remember what is possible. I think I needed to remember what happens when you pair a gifted literary mind to an epic task. Homegoing is an inspiration." (Ta-Nehisi Coates, National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me)
"Homegoing is a remarkable feat - a novel at once epic and intimate, capturing the moral weight of history as it bears down on individual struggles, hopes, and fears. A tremendous debut." (Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment)
I really did enjoy this book. It is two families' journey, spanning of more than 200 years, from Africa to America, with paths diverging and converging. Some descendants felt hardship, others felt privilege, some both wrapped up in each other.
The strength of this book is that it moves along over such a long period, with the families really not connecting too much to be unbelievable. But its weakness is also its many characters, so much so that it was hard to keep the strands of the families separate and to actually get to know some of the characters' motivations themselves.
The narrator was a good choice, though sometimes flat in places; perhaps this book was a bit too wide-sweeping for him (my opinion). Maybe a second narrator might have been better, to read the female characters, or the passages taking place in Ghana, or some other way to complement his solid narration of the coalmine settings or the deep south.
Well worth your time and credit.
I loved this though it was so hard to hear. Epic in breadth and depth, I think every American needs to read/listen to this book.
I guess I'd say I ended up disappointed although I'd also say I really enjoyed the book. Each story tied together nicely in a way that told you a long history of two families. However, each story seemed to end without total resolution and leaving me feeling like something had always been left out.
This was hard to listen to, but I loved each carefully crafted character. It helped me understand the current state of Blacks in America, how this nation got to this place. I wish all my conservative friends would read it, but I doubt they will. I recommend this to anyone, like Marjorie, who loves books that speak to your heart.
The Saga of these families stretches across centuries, continents and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a moving portrayal of the enduring consequence that human choices and actions can have. It deals with a broad range of issues, from violence and war, faith and hope, despair and healing, prejudice and racism.
I really wanted to like this book. Expecting a literary novel, it delivered a disjointed collection of short stories. The character development seemed to wear thin very early in the book. The motivation of most of the characters was unclear. The reader was not able to affect female voices so it was often hard to determine who was speaking until the sentences unfolded to include "she said." He also would lapse into an annoying cadence at times that was distracting from the stories. I recently read Gysai's op-ed in the New York Times and saw the strength of her writing. Although Homegoing was not all that I expected, I look forward to this author's future works.
DID NOT READ THE BOOK. MAYBE I SHOULD BECAUSE THE NARRATION MADE THE BOOK MORE OF A HISTORY TEXTBOOK THAN A COMPELLING AND EMOTIONAL STORY.
ALL OF IT.
YES, IF THE GHANA PART OF THE STORY WAS READ BY A GHANAIAN NARRATOR. A GHANAIAN MYSELF, I DID NOT UNDERSTAND OF SOME OF GHANAIAN WORDS, THE NARRATOR WAS VOID OF EMOTION AND PASSION. I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED. HE SOUNDED LIKE HE WAS READING A TEXT BOOK.
I have discussed the indescribable feeling I get when I am on the continent of Africa, when I hear drums, when I listen to the many languages spoken that makes me feel like "I am home." This book was able to capture my sentiments in such a beautiful way. I could listen to it over and over again. It was really well written.
The crazy lady, the story of Marjorie's parents, Willie and H
No, I have not.
YES! It just transported me into a very different world, but touched on subjects that people of color continue to struggle with today.
Dominic Hoffman is outstanding in his ability to capture American and Ghanaian accents. This book, the story and all the metaphors in it, is the most moving, pivotal, heart-touching book I may ever read in my life. Yaa Gyasi is a genius.
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