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Homegoing: A novel

  • Language:English
  • Downloads:5113
  • Type:Epub+TxT+PDF+Mobi
  • Date:2017-01-21
  • Status:finish
  • Author:Yaa Gyasi
  • Environment:PC/Android/iPhone/iPad/Kindle

Recent Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Homegoing begins in fire, as a house slave sets herself free by burning her master's African village to the ground, and ends in the ocean, as two of her two descendants - from two completely different lineages - find, finally, perhaps, a sort of reconciliation. In between, Ms. Gyasi traces the entire history of Africa and African-Americans. For the slave, Maame, had two daughters: the daughter of her captor, who she left behind in the burning village; and the daughter of her real husband. Effia and Esi grow up in warring villages, each only a distant rumor to the other, and they take wildly different paths.

Effia is sold to a white British lord, living in Africa to negotiate the slave trade, and she spurs a line of descendants who grapple with the impact of the slave trade within Africa. The story of how slavery began in Africa is not one I knew well, and it was heartbreaking and jarring, to learn how the different tribes stalked and captured each other, selling rival sons and daughters and wives to the British, fueling the trade.

Esi is herself captured, and kept in the dungeon of the Castle where her sister lives as the "wench" wife of a British trader, until she is sent through the Middle Passage to America, into slavery. The story of Esi's life in the dungeon, waiting to be shipped she knows not where, like every bit of the book, is so detailed and rich and true that it is astonishing to realize the author is only 26 years old. This book could easily be a lifetime achievement, and instead it is just the beginning of what I imagine will be an amazing body of work.

Homegoing has many, many, many strengths, and perhaps just one weakness. The strengths are found in the story, and in the writing. It is a glory of riches.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am giving this book 3 1/2 stars. This is the 3rd book I have read recently which spans several centuries and many generations of more than one family tree. Books written in this vein have too many characters to even keep track of or remember, let alone to get really involved with. There are many interesting stories and characters who would have been enough for one whole book dedicated to their story alone, but as soon as I got interested in their story, the author was off to a different character and place. I find I am just not able to get swept away by this style of multigenerational historical writing.

As others have mentioned, the first half or 2/3rds of the book are the most engaging. The rest of it pales in comparison.

This is written well enough and the subject matter is relevant and important but I think it was an overly ambitious concept that did not quite gel. Still, in all, there were enough good stories and enough important history that the book is worth reading for that alone.

My favorite quote from Homegoing is “We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So, when you study history, you must always ask yourself, whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth?”

In this book Yaa Gyasi is telling her story of the history of her people, and for this, I highly applaud her. And I do recommend this book.
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This has to be one of the best books I've ever read, if not the best. Debut author Yaa Gyasi weaves these disconnected characters together with such care that they seem fully fleshed even though you only get such a brief glimpse of each of them.

The novel follows the descendants of two half sisters who have never met, one of them remaining in Africa's Gold Coast and the other being shipped off to America as a slave.Individual stories are just long enough to get to know the heart of each person in their defining moments. Despite differing experiences in different countries, the characters share similar hardships and joys as they try to navigate life. Each character has in some way become disconnected with their ancestors and/or home and Gyasi shows the long-term effects of that.

I was amazed at how skillful Gyasi was at authentically depicting these settings and giving the characters their own unique story, each one a patch in a larger quilt. The writing is lyrical with a flow that I found very inviting and it was hard to put this book down. I couldn't believe this was a debut novel. I was sad to see the story end yet happy for the conclusion. I can't wait for more from this author. Highly, highly, highly recommended, 5 solid stars and then some.
Format: Kindle Edition
Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary debut novel, Homegoing, traces the story of a Ghanaian family over more than two centuries through the lives of two branches of its descendants, one in Ghana, the other in the United States. The book opens in the mid-eighteenth century, when the slave trade was at its peak, follows the rollercoaster fortunes of the family through the turbulent years of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and concludes in present-day Ghana, where two descendants of the family have returned to explore the land of their ancestors — and the meaning of their lives. The tale in Homegoing parallels the story told in Alex Haley’s Roots over roughly the same period.

Unforgettable characters

Gyasi has a marvelous way with words. In brief chapters, using the most economical language, she celebrates the lives of her characters in ways that will stay with readers for a long time to come. Beginning with Effia and Esi, the two half-sisters whose descendants people the novel, through the generations to follow, Gyasi spells out the legacy of slavery without resorting to stereotypes. There is evil on every side: in the British who manage and profit from the slave trade; in the Asante and Fante warriors and traders who deliver their captives to the British; in the American slave-owners and their successors, who impose lynching and Jim Crow; and in the Northerners who sustain housing segregation and practice racism with only slightly less malice than their Southern counterparts. Yet the members of the family are far from blameless: all the stereotypical afflictions of Black America are to be found here, from the cruelty of recent Irish immigrants to the drug addiction and broken families, yet each of Gyasi’s characters, no matter how unexpected, is easy to believe.
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