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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  74,829 Ratings  ·  10,830 Reviews
A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in conte ...more
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Alfred A. Knopf
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Kerri I listened too, and had to write down as I listened:

Effia ===> Quay ===> James ==> Ahena (sp?) ===> Akua ===> Yaw ==>Marjorie

I listened too, and had to write down as I listened:

Effia ===> Quay ===> James ==> Ahena (sp?) ===> Akua ===> Yaw ==>Marjorie

Esi ===> Ness ===> Kojo ===> H ===> Willie ===> Sonny ===> Marcus(less)
Linda Rae This feels like an updated "Roots" by Alex Haley. It is less of a novel than a series of vignettes about the different generations. It is good, but…moreThis feels like an updated "Roots" by Alex Haley. It is less of a novel than a series of vignettes about the different generations. It is good, but not great. (less)

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Emily May
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“What I know now, my son: Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home.”

4 1/2 stars. Homegoing is an incredible and horrific look at history, colonialism and slavery in Ghana and America, across 250 years. How the author managed to create such rich characters, cover so much history, and tell such a complex, but compelling story in only 300 pages, I do not know.

I recently said in my review of East of Ed
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it

Homegoing is a very confident debut novel. Exceptionally engaging and the strongest case for reparations and black rage I've read in a long time.

Seriously, white men are the devil.

The most interesting part of this novel, the structure, also becomes the most frustrating part of the novel. The story starts with two sisters who are never allowed to know each other, and what becomes of the generations they beget, starting in 18th century Ghana. The novel beautifully explores the slave trade and im
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I give 5 shining stars to Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, the best debut novel I have read this year. In this semi autobiographical tale, Gyasi follows the family histories of two half sisters, Effia the beauty and Esi to reveal how their families end up. Each chapter is a vignette focusing on a family member in subsequent generations, alternating between Effia and Esi's families until we reach present day. Here are their until now largely untold stories.

Effia the beauty had been raised by her step moth
Raeleen Lemay
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, adult-fiction
Read for Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder reading challenge: #24 Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color

The premise for this book is amazing. Two sisters are separated at birth, and each alternating chapter follows a descendant of each sister. Great, right?

My biggest issue was that this felt more like a collection of short stories than a novel. There's nothing wrong with that necessarily, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. When I read a novel, I want to feel connected to
Diane S ☔
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stunned, just absolutely stunned that this is a début novel. Spanning centuries and continents, the novel follows two families, one from the slave trading Fante nation and another from the Asante warrior nation, in the British colony that is now Ghana. Stepsisters, who are unaware of each others existence, one will marry a white man, a British official who lives in the upper part of the Cape Coast Castle. The other, in the lower dungeons of the same castle and sold as a slave, transported to the ...more
Book Riot Community
This multigenerational epic has already gotten lots of attention, and it deserves every bit of it. Gyasi’s debut novel begins with two half-sisters in 18th-century Ghana, strangers to each other. Effia marries a white man, and Esi is enslaved and taken to America. The novel follows the children of these two women through the generations, alternating between Africa and America. As we meet each new descendent, we see how the legacy of slavery plays out across history, both for the enslaved and for ...more
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: distant-lands
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best historical fiction category 2016!

"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? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story, too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture."

this is a shockingly good debut novel.

it's more accura
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"And so they waited. Ness and Sam and Kojo, working longer and harder in the fields than any of the other slaves so that even the Devil began to smile at the mention of their names. They waited out the fall and then winter, listening for the sound that would tell them it was time, praying that they wouldn't be sold and separated before their chance came".

"Homegoing" was one of the Fiction books nominated for best books of the year by members on Goodreads. It made the first round-cut. I'm on a m
Jennifer Masterson
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
My heart hurts and there is not enough Ben and Jerry's in this world to soothe it! After reading Homegoing I am literally spent! This is not a bad thing. This is just a very sad novel!!!

Homegoing covers the mid 18th Century to present times. It follows two different tribes in Ghana ( Fante and Asante), two different families, and specifically two half sisters, Effia and Esi and their offspring. The sisters know nothing of each other. Both sisters are living in Ghana. One sister stays in Ghana a
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Homegoing is a multi-generational saga that follows the descendants of two half sisters, Effia and Esi, across three centuries, beginning in eighteenth-century Ghana and arriving at the present day.

Each chapter of Homegoing introduces a new character, which means readers are subjected to endless amounts of backstory - seamlessly integrated albeit wearisome. In many cases, when a character's story reaches i
There are sometimes when you read a book, you finish it, close the book, and think to yourself, that was good. Then, you simply and immediately pick up your next book and dive right in. Not giving that original book another thought. Then, there are those rare occasions where you read a book, finish it, simply close the book, and sit there stunned. You think to yourself, what the heck do I read next, knowing the next book will not compare. Knowing you can't get that original book out of your head ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-audible
“Every moment has a precedent and comes from this other moment, that comes from this other moment, that comes from this other moment.” - Yaa Gyasi

26- year old Yaa Gyasi wrote this debut novel after visiting Ghana, her native country, 18 years after her family moved to the United States. There to research a future novel, she visits Cape Coast Castle where slaves were kept in dungeons while awaiting transport to the new world. The author stated (in an interview) that the castle visit gave her the
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-it, 2016
An absolutely stunning debut; one of the best I've read. Yaa Gyasi captures so many stories and handles them beautifully. We need more novels like this. And it's only her first! I can't wait to see what she does next.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
When a book is as popular and praiseworthy as this one, it’s easy to join the chorus justifying why. It’s much harder to come up with anything new to say. I’ll attempt the latter in a minute, but first here’s a recap of what others have already said:

» Young, debut author born in Ghana, brought up in Alabama writes a brilliant novel spanning multiple generations, putting faces on the African and African-American experience.

» The story begins with Effia (the beauty) who seemed destined to become a
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Since it is Black History Month in the UK, I thought I'd re-share my thoughts on this book. I read it a few months ago and found myself slowly becoming enwrapped in this compelling generational story, which perfectly portrayed the evolution of the struggles of the black movement.

This is definitely a book you'd want to read to familiarise yourself with their continuous battle, but to also recognise, honour and celebrate their often neglected achievements.*

*I just had to change my rating to a 5
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debut-novel, 2016, africa
4.5 Stars

Covering the Asante and Fante tribes from 18th Century to the present, Homegoing follows two different families, two half sisters, Effia and Esi and their offspring. The sisters grow up knowing nothing of the other. Both are given a black stone necklace, to be passed down to the next generation. Both sisters are born in Ghana, spend their early years in Ghana, Esi is shipped to America as a slave. Effia stays in Ghana and marries a British soldier who works in the slave trade, living in
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it

Right now it feels as if it's torn my heart and soul apart reading this deeply emotional book. It's been such a traumatic journey, and in addition to being profoundly moved by it all, I also feel both anger and shame at man's inhumanity to man.

Homegoing tells the story of stepsisters, Effia and Esi, and it charts their lives and subsequent generations of their families from the 18th century onwards, but most importantly it's about the slave trade in all it's grim and sordid detail. These sisters
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Homegoing is a journey of history. Black history.
In this mesmerizing, breathtaking saga, a story of 2 tribes is told: the Asante and Fante in the Gold Coast in the 18th century. Two half sisters are born - one to each tribe and unknown to each other. Their lives go in polar directions with the white man determining their existence. One sister is selected to marry a white man who negotiates slaves and lives in prosperity; the other, is stolen and traded to live a life of hardship and heartbreak
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
“We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing?, Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.”

I was a bit afraid to read this novel because of its hype as it seems that recently I do not fare well with overpraised novels. I can safely say that I needn’t
"He had always said that the joining of a man and a woman was also the joining of two families. Ancestors, whole histories, came with the act, but so did sins and curses. The children were the embodiment of that unity, and they bore the brunt of it all."

Homegoing is an astonishing and heartrending debut novel written by the undeniably talented Yaa Gyasi. Truly epic in scope, the book covers a span of about three-hundred years from the eighteenth century straight into the twentieth century. Alter
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

I know I said I wouldn't review here anymore but then I READ THAT BOOK and I have things to say so here's me being inconsistent okay? Brace yourself, incoherent thoughts coming in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

I can't help writing about Homegoing for the simple reason that it is BRILLIANT. I don't even know how many times I fell in love and got my heart broken but DAMN IT WAS WORTH IT.

The truth is though, many readers won't read it, because of several excuses :

First off : Homegoing deals with slavery,
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing?

A literary DNA test of Homegoing would reveal it to be a direct descendant of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; but whilst the latter is a pioneering attempt at a coherent English-language novel that explores the sociopolitical impact of British colonialism on the Nigerian native, Ms Gyasi’s book suffers under the weight of its own scope and, a
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Talk about ending my reading year with a bang; Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi blew me, and my expectations, away. It was everything I could ever ask for in a book, and the stories will stick with me for the rest of my life.

“The family is like the forest: if you are outside it is dense; if you are inside you see that each tree has its own position.”

This is, hands down, the best family saga I've ever read, and this is only Yaa Gyasi's debut novel! In three-hundred pages, Yaa Gyasi shows us seven gener
Jenny (adultishbooks)
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Go read this book. NOW.

I don't care what you're doing or what you're reading.

You should have intense FOMO about this. So much that you will stop what you're doing and get your hands on a copy ASAP.

I don't throw around 5 stars often so you should take this as a huge "get your ass to your library or bookstore and get a copy of this."

Take the day off. Binge read the shit out of this book. Then, experience that rare book hangover that makes you question everything, including hard facts you know abo
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Hard to believe this is a debut novel.
This follows the families of two half sisters Effia and Esi in Ghana at the beginning of slavery in the eighteenth century. Effia gets married to a Brit and her descendants for the most part stay in Ghana through brutal conditions. Esi's descendants traded off to the American slave market and we follow them here...I never knew about the beginnings of slavery before this book... So many memorable characters. Very good, highly recommended.
Lauren Cecile
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great, well-researched book spanning generations and brilliantly showing how a people's past influences their futures.
This was the first time I read anything that illustrated so vividly how Africans were complicit in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. (I believe that's part of the reason that the mainstream critics love it.)
I enjoyed the scenes in Africa even more than the scenes in America although the chapters about how the Alabama penal system used wrongfully convicted convicts to work in the c
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Because it--coupled with a once-in-a-lifetime trip into el mero corazon Azteca i.e. Mexico, Distrito Federal--affected me so much at just the correct time, Homegoing for me is THE BOOK OF THE YEAR. It tackles huge themes (the main and overpowering ingredient in all the realm of literature is this confidence on the auteurs part to handle & fashion the ethereal) with the verocity and insatiability of a killer shark. Gyasi is the perennial literary Great White Shark--less common this species is ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
An ancient humpbacked apothecary with a wildly rolling crazy eye stumps around with a serpent-headed cane. Watch out, this old woman has a predilection for spitting. Although she cannot make impossible things come true, she can 'make the possible attainable'. Black magic, voodoo, bad juju. One who dreams of a firewoman and another with a deathly fear of water.

From the Gold Coast and slave ships to Harlem's jazz joints and junkies, this is an exceptional novel of slavery and freedom, and all tha
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2016, africa, ghana
So when you study history you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing?, Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth?

I’ve always been slightly envious of people with a clear-cut chronicle of their family history. Mine is vague, messy, and most definitely lost. Everything I know is half-truth and speculation, and so many are dead. My paternal grandmother, for example, died when my dad was a baby in a small mountain village in the middle of a war. Of what? “Women’s problems,”
Marilyn C.
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-favorites
I found reading Homegoing both thought provoking and frustrating at the same time. The story is about two sisters, Effia and Esi, and their descendants, starting in the early 1760's to the 1980's. Their lives take completely different paths; with Effia marrying an Englishman in Ghana,and Esi being sold into slavery and shipped off to America.

The writing in this debut novel was outstanding, and it does not take a person in the literary world to see that Gyasi has tremendous talent. The characters
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Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she held a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellowship. Her short stories have appeared in African American Review and Callaloo. Her debut novel, is Homegoing (Knopf, June 2016).

More about Yaa Gyasi...

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“We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.” 296 likes
“You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.” 234 likes
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