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Homegoing

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  22,217 Ratings  ·  3,786 Reviews
The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, ...more
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Knopf
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E. I began this reading only because my friend liked it well enough to recommend it. My own response about Africans, both in Africa and in diaspora, has…moreI began this reading only because my friend liked it well enough to recommend it. My own response about Africans, both in Africa and in diaspora, has been unhappy. This book, however, has elicited a very positive response, though it explores many of the same issues that the others have. The difference seems to be the lyrical and forthright and non-judgmental point of view of the author. I loved it and wait for another book by Yaa Gyasi(less)
Kerri I listened too, and had to write down as I listened:

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

Esi…more
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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Aug 04, 2016 Emily May 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
...more
Roxane
Apr 23, 2016 Roxane 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
...more
Brina
Jul 26, 2016 Brina 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
...more
karen
Nov 10, 2016 karen 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
...more
Diane S ☔
Jun 22, 2016 Diane S ☔ 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
Pretty much everyone at Book Riot has been raving about this book, but I’m going to rave about it some more. I hope you guys aren’t tired of hearing about this book, because it really is that good. It’s a multigenerational family saga about two sisters born in 1700’s Ghana and separated at birth, and each chapter alternates between the different family lines, looking at a different generation each time. You don’t get to spend much time with each individual character, but the breadth and scope of ...more
Elyse
Nov 13, 2016 Elyse 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
...more
Jennifer Masterson
Jun 25, 2016 Jennifer Masterson 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
...more
Maxwell
Jul 08, 2016 Maxwell 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.
Jen
Nov 13, 2016 Jen 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
...more
Jibran
Jul 24, 2016 Jibran 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
...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)


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,
...more
Carol
Dec 02, 2016 Carol 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
...more
Cheri
Sep 03, 2016 Cheri 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
...more
Karen
Jul 02, 2016 Karen 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.
Mary
Aug 19, 2016 Mary 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,”
...more
PorshaJo
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
Melanie
Jan 09, 2017 Melanie 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
...more
Ron Charles
Jun 16, 2016 Ron Charles rated it really liked it
One of the peculiar aspects of American slavery is how much we know and how much we willfully forget. Despite the vast body of historical research, works of fiction still inform most of what we understand (and misunderstand) about the grisly institution. Alex Haley’s “Roots” — revived this season for another TV generation — gave millions of Americans their most visceral, sympathetic experience of slavery. Toni Morrison’s masterpiece, “Beloved,” seared into our imagination the grotesque distortio ...more
Kasia
Sep 05, 2016 Kasia rated it really liked it
So much was already said and written about this book. All the hype surrounding it is understandable. All the prizes and honors bestowed on Yaa Gyasi are fully deserved.
What impressed me most about Homegoing is the depth of author's imagination. Reading this book was like walking down a dark, empty street and secretly picking into other people's windows. You don't know a lot about them. Just briefly catch a glimpse into their daily lives and from it you try to deduct who they are, and how they a
...more
Cathrine ☯
Dec 10, 2016 Cathrine ☯ rated it really liked it
4.25
I really liked this one. You can’t fit it all in and satisfy every reader’s desires in one book conjuring and revealing a multi-generational family history. But I found myself wanting more on some stories rather than having to move on so quickly. For me, part one was awesome, Part two lost some thrust.
This past year I watched the PBS series Finding Your Roots and one of the things that really struck me was that families of former slaves cannot go back very far to trace their ancestry. There
...more
Camie
Nov 23, 2016 Camie rated it it was amazing
Oh boy !! I'm highly recommending this absolutely wonderfully astute and haunting family saga which spans 300 years beginning in 18 th century Ghana. Two half sisters Effia the Beautiful and Esi are born in separate villages and their lives will be very different. Effia will be married off to a white Englishman , a slave trader, and live in an exquisite castle on the Cape Coast. Esi will also live there, taken to the foul basement dungeon in chains. Effia will remain and the story of her ancesto ...more
Adira
Got. Damn!

I felt this book in the deepest part of my spirit. It's reminiscent of The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. It was painful at times and had me in tears at various points, but it was oh so necessary. The way that Gyasi handled the painful history of Africans being involved with selling their own kin was eye opening while also making it clear just how much of a disadvantage those same African sellers were.

I will say though that as the story gets closer to the present day, the story be
...more
Jenny (adultishbooks)
Jun 22, 2016 Jenny (adultishbooks) 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
...more
Marilyn C.
Jul 11, 2016 Marilyn C. rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
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
...more
Eve
Dec 01, 2016 Eve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2016
 photo IMG_0629_zps3nnunq7v.jpeg

"When someone does wrong, whether it is you or me, whether it is mother or father, whether it is the Gold Coast man or the white man, it is like a fisherman casting a net into the water. He keeps only the one or two fish that he needs to feed himself and puts the rest in the water, thinking that their lives will go back to normal. No one forgets that they were once captive, even if they are free now."–Akua Collins

My grandmother would often reminisce about one afternoon when she was babysitting
...more
Sara Steger
Aug 31, 2016 Sara Steger rated it really liked it
This is a very powerful and well-written generations novel that begins with two sisters and traces their lineage through multiple generations of lives that surprise us with both their tragedy and their joy. It begins in Ghana and examines the painful realities behind the slave trade, but what makes it very unique is that it puts as much emphasis on what happens on the African continent and among the African people as it does on what happens to the slaves and their descendants who find themselves ...more
Nnenna
Aug 09, 2016 Nnenna rated it it was amazing
Believe the hype, guys, believe the hype. The novel begins in eighteenth-century Ghana with two girls, Effia and Esi. Although the two are sisters, their lives take very different paths. Effia is married to a prominent white slave trader, while Esi is sold as a slave. This book spans hundreds of years as we follow the descendants of these two young women.

First of all, let me say that I’m impressed. This is a debut novel with an ambitious scope. Not only is it beautifully written, but Gyasi weave
...more
Tatiana
Jul 12, 2016 Tatiana rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

A great accomplishment of a novel. Only 300 pages long, it follows a family through 2 centuries and 2 countries - America and Ghana, all while covering the birth, death and aftermath of slavery in both countries. Impressive.
Chrissie
Jul 10, 2016 Chrissie rated it did not like it
After 62% / 85% 100%:
I am too stubborn to quit, but I am not enjoying this. Not because it is dark, but because it offers only snapshots, brief glimpses of events and people.

This book is not for a reader who wants focus upon character portrayal. You start with two stepsisters. It is not about them, but about their many, many descendants. You get short glimpses, a patchwork of many, not an in-depth understanding of any. Confusing if you try to keep track in your head of the familial relationship
...more
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Cosmo Readers: HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi 4 10 Jan 21, 2017 05:54AM  
Brantford Public ...: The Structure of the Book 7 12 Jan 19, 2017 01:12PM  
Brantford Public ...: The Characters of Homegoing 2 9 Jan 17, 2017 03:38PM  
Literary Fiction ...: Discussion: Homegoing 64 187 Jan 10, 2017 05:52PM  
Around the Year i...: Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi 14 60 Jan 09, 2017 09:20AM  
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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 the Homegoing (Knopf, June 2016).

(from http://aalbc.com/authors/author.php?a...)
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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.” 100 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.” 82 likes
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