Sara Watson's Reviews > Homegoing

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
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Ambitious portraits of two families with parallel paths in America and Africa spanning the centuries. Each character and place in history tackles a thematic question that cuts to the core of the traumas of colonialism and slave trade, including the thornier issues like complicity of tribes participating in enslaving local enemies to stake a claim to relative power. Switching contexts and characters chapter by chapter, the book sometimes feels too short to allow these people to breathe and give depth to their circumstances. At times the writing is didactic in its lessons and characters strain to contain all the archetypal issues of their time, but the overall structure is impressive and draws you along, even as settings and characters move on each new chapter. Only in the final chapters in modern America do the issues feel forced onto the characters (heroin abuse in Harlem, absentee fathers). Despite the sprawling breath and scope of this story, I came away with a lot of nuance and insights.
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Reading Progress

June 11, 2018 – Started Reading
June 11, 2018 – Shelved
June 13, 2018 – Finished Reading

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