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Publisher's Summary

Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Literary Fiction

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Yaa Gyasi (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 06-19-16

A Novel in Stories

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.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Story of Family and America's Great Shame

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.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

such an important story to hear

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.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joy
  • Annapolis MD United States
  • 12-07-17

An important story but terribly disjointed

Sometimes this story had a wonderful poetic flow.Especially in the beginning with the characters in Africa.My problem with this story was it's overall flow from one character to the next as well as from one continent to another not to mention from one generation to the next. As I think about how this overall flow was so disjointed, I realize that the whole story needed some serious editing and rewriting to get this story to flow better. This could have been an excellent story with more character development and even a more in-depth look at the history of the cultures could have really tied this story together.
I stuck with this story but by the last two hours of this book I was ready to toss in the towel and might have returned the book earlier on if I had not purchased it in a two for one sale.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • Savannah, GA, United States
  • 06-26-16

Disappointing after all the hype

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.

25 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful book

A book that deserves five stars. The subject matter made me angry and some parts made me cry.

A poem from the book

"Split the Castle open,
find me, find you.
We, two, felt sand,
wind, air.
One felt whip. Whipped,
once shipped.

We, two, black.
Me, you.
One grew from
cocoa's soil, birthed from nut,
skin uncut, still bleeding.
We, two, wade.
The waters seem different
but are same.
Our same. Sister skin.
Who knew? Not me. Not you."

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

VERY POOR GHANAIAN NARRATION

Would you consider the audio edition of Homegoing to be better than the print version?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

ALL OF IT.

How could the performance have been better?

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.

27 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It was almost great

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.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SP
  • 07-25-16

Beautiful! Well written

What made the experience of listening to Homegoing the most enjoyable?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The crazy lady, the story of Marjorie's parents, Willie and H

Have you listened to any of Dominic Hoffman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES! It just transported me into a very different world, but touched on subjects that people of color continue to struggle with today.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

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.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful