Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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Archives > Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

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message 1: by Andrea (last edited Jul 15, 2016 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Andrea | 408 comments I chose Homegoing as my Week 36 identity book and really liked it. It allowed me to enjoy beautifully crafted snapshots of Maame's descendants while gaining an invaluable perspective of historical events in both Africa and America.

Areeba books and kids  | 91 comments I read Homegoing, for a book set in a different continent. This book is set in Africa and America.
Very impressive, the story, the characters, the story, the changes, the lives, the times they were all easy to follow. It was beautiful, and it really stirred something deep within me, my family originally belonged to India, and then Pakistan and now Canada, and I could imagine how different it was for each generation, how each generation chose a certain path and how it brought him/her closer and farther from what they actually were.
Loved it!

Marta (gezemice) | 856 comments My library hold just came in and I am excited to start!

message 4: by Zaz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zaz | 2983 comments It seems interesting and well liked! I'm waiting for your opinion Marta :)

Katie | 2364 comments I just finished this book for my Around the World challenge for a book set in Ghana. I loved it. This is the second generational novel I've read this month & I think I'm really liking this type of book. I thought this book was so beautiful. I really enjoyed getting to know all the different family members throughout the generations and experience the moments that impacted the directions of their lives. I enjoyed most the way the author showed what makes the individual and what makes the family and how the individual and the family are both overlapping and separate.

One of my favorite parts was when Marjorie was talking to her English teacher about Lord of the Flies.
Teacher: What do you think about the book?
Marjorie: I like it.
Teacher: But do you love it? Do you feel it inside you?

This was a book I felt inside me. I read it for a book club and can't wait to discuss it this weekend. Highly recommended.

Marina H | 1314 comments I started this one the other day. I've read the first three chapters and so far I'm really enjoying it. I like how it's written, and even though each character only appear in one chapter you really get to know them.
I can't wait to continue this book, and it's a great start to the new year for me!

message 7: by Jessica (last edited Jan 07, 2017 02:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jessica (jessboiacono) This was my choice for 2017 week one. About 80 pages in and liking it so far. The scenes describing the slave trade are pretty harrowing

EDIT: Finished the book this afternoon. While reading, I found the prose underwhelming, and the storytelling a bit disjointed. However, in the last 50 pages the story really came together for me-- I found the overall experience of the book to be very profound. Really liked it! 4.5 and definitely a worthwhile read.

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2799 comments For those who have read it, would you say the characters "go on a spiritual journey"? I'm looking for a book for my Book Riot challenge where "a character of colour goes on a spiritual journey" and so far, I'm coming up mostly blank. I keep hearing great things about this book though, so I thought it might be a nice place to squeeze it in.

Sophie (sawphie) | 2854 comments It's already difficult to find a book with a spiritual journey that sounds appealing, but with a POC as a main character O_o

It's because of prompts like that that I don't do the Book Riot challenge ;)

Good luck to you !

Katie | 2364 comments That is a very narrow topic! I wouldn't really consider the characters to have gone on a spiritual journey in this one, but there is actually one character at the end who has what could be considered one. What do others who have read it think?

Marina H | 1314 comments I would say it's only in the very last pages there is somewhat of a spiritual journey. Overall I wouldn't consider this book a book about that specific topic, but I guess you could bend the rules a bit. I'm doing the Bookriot challenge myself, but haven't gotten that far yet looking for books. Maybe I should because some of those topics are tricky!

message 12: by Marina H (last edited Feb 28, 2017 01:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marina H | 1314 comments I ended up really liking this book. As I've written in my review I think it's a brave but clever choice to give each character only a certain amount of pages and that way tell the story not only about the family but also the story of a country through different generations.

I've seen a few people comment on wanting to know more about each character but I think the author used her words wisely and really told a lot in few pages. I felt like I got to know every character and the family as a whole.

Jessica (jessboiacono) Marina H wrote: "I ended up really liking this book. As I've written in my review I think it's a bravebut clever choice to give each character only a certain amount of pages and that way tell the story not only abo..."

I ended up liking the book a lot as well once I had finished! I think the choice to only have one chapter/character is very intentional-- Marcus alludes to it in his chapter. It's not about each individual, and what he or she did or did not do. Rather, it's the combined history of their experiences, how things happened for them (when it just as easily could have gone another way), and how that affected the entire family.

Misty Wright (misty_wright) | 5 comments I read this book for Week 2 because it was a book with multiple perspectives. It has been on my to-read shelf for awhile and everyone has been raving about it.

I really did enjoy this book. I liked that way the story was told by different characters going through time and it was fun trying to figure out exactly which period of time they were in. It was a little difficult to keep the characters straight, but definitely not impossible.

This book is a must read, and should possibly be required reading at some point

Kathy | 2413 comments I read Homegoing for week 5, historical fiction. This was a book I loved reading when I had lots of time to read many pages. At times I only read 10 pages at a time and I lost what was going on, how characters were related to each other.

I agree with those who say this is a "must-read." ⭐⭐⭐⭐

For those doing the Book Riot challenge, this fits for prompt 24: Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color.

Tanya (xallroyx21) | 28 comments I am reading this for Week 5 as well!

Shelly | 67 comments I read Homegoing for the 2017 ATY Reading Challenge: Week 8--a book written by a person of color. In my opinion, this one is an easy 5 Star literary accomplishment.

message 18: by Zaz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zaz | 2983 comments I read it for the book of the month and found it really interesting. The way the story was told (one chapter per character) was original and worked well to cover this wide length of time.

I connected with some characters but not with all, so some chapters worked better with me than others, but all were interesting to read. I would have liked more boldness on the chapters about US slavery, I found them lighter than what I read previously about this period. Otherwise, no real complaint so I gave it 4.5 stars.

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2799 comments I just finished this book for "a book in the front window of a bookstore" for PopSugar's 2016 Summer challenge, and I was very impressed! I'll admit I didn't have much interest in reading this until I saw that it was chosen as the book of the month, although I'd seen so many positive reviews. I was also a bit put off because I'd recently read The Underground Railroad, which I found disappointing. For some reason, these two books have become very strongly linked in my mind so I was a bit worried going into this one.

This book was basically everything I'd hoped for from The Underground Railroad and even Americanah (which I read last year, and enjoyed). I thought this book told the story in a very original way, although it took me some time to get used to the style of one chapter per character.

Like Zaz said, there were some characters I connected to more than others. I think it takes a great talent to write so many different characters and have each of them have their own voice and story. There were some sections that dragged a bit for me, but overall, I thought it was a very powerful book and I'm glad I decided to try it.

Sophie (sawphie) | 2854 comments I finished the audiobook yesterday and really loved this book. I found the "one chapter-one character" very interesting and enriching.

message 21: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma (factandfable) | 182 comments I read this for 35 (a book where one of the main characters is royalty). I'm not sure if this qualifies, but one of the earlier characters is the son of an Asante princess, so all the characters descended from her could be considered royalty.

I really enjoyed it, but had the same issue that many other people had in that there were so may characters and some were more compelling then others. I talked a little more in depth about it here: https://readingdiverselyayearofnotrea...

Jasmine (pikakejazz) | 144 comments Bah, I could not for the life of me figure out an ATY challenge to put this under that I had not already used. But I read it anyway!

My review here.

Perri | 793 comments I used this for five star book on someone else's shelf. This book was a five star for some in my Ghost Read-a thon. I loved it and found all the characters compelling. Can't wait to read more from this gifted writer. My Review:

Celia (cinbread19) | 349 comments I read this for week 45: one word title. I had selected it for book club in Nov and decided to kill two birds with one stone!! What a book. One member stated it was the best book she read in 2017.

Sabrina | 390 comments I just read this for week 12: a book set in Africa or south america and I thought it was just incredible. The amount of thought put into each character weaved such a beautiful story and tragic history

Stacey D.  | 1766 comments "...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."

Each of these stories holds a nugget of Maame's family history, as well as world history, unfortunate as it is, as told through successive generations. For one thing, I had never heard of the Cape Coast Castle, and now that I know of its underground horrors, wish it never existed.

I found each chapter absorbing, and although filled with many characters, it wasn't too hard to keep track of everyone's life and their respective eras using the family tree. Beautifully written and so heartfelt, I'm glad I chose this novel for 2019's Week 45: a multi-generational saga.

message 27: by Jody (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jody (jodybell) | 3472 comments I’m reading this one, as a side-read, to fill our Ghana prompt for Team Africa in the read-a-thon. I’m a third of the way through it, and I’m enjoying it very much so far. I like the little vignettes of the characters, and am very much looking forward to reading about more of them. My favourite so far has been Ness.

Joanne | 439 comments I read this for Week 16. A book told from multiple perspectives

I thought it was a really interesting concept that each chapter in this book is told from a different person's perspective, following the descendants of two half-sisters who never met. Even with only one chapter per person I managed to care about just about every person who we followed although some definitely stick out more to me than others.

message 29: by Jody (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jody (jodybell) | 3472 comments I forgot to come back in after I’d finished - I really enjoyed this, although I found the ending to be a little lame.

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