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Archive: Other Books > Homegoing / Yaa Gyasi - 4****

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5803 comments Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
Digital audiobook performed by Dominic Hoffman

A sweeping historical fiction and debut novel that follows the descendants of two half-sisters over three hundred years. Effia and Esi are the half-sisters – born into different villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia is “married” to an Englishman (who has an English wife back in Britain), and lives in relative comfort in the “Cape Coast Castle.” Esi is sold into slavery and transported to the American colonies.

I am reminded of the phrase “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Both sisters are imprisoned, but in very different ways. And their descendants’ opportunities and views on the world are shaped by their histories. Some persevere and succeed, others succumb to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Some make great use of their gifts, others fall prey to drugs or greed. All are imprisoned in one fashion or another.

Trying to cover 300 years of history, on two continents, is an ambitious undertaking. Doing it in just over 300 pages is just about impossible. But Gyasi does a credible job. Each chapter focuses on a different character, moving the action forward generation by generation. She also alternates between each sister’s descendants, one chapter following Esi’s lineage, the next focusing on Effia’s children, grandchildren, etc.

There is a family tree in the front of the book, which is helpful, but I was listening to the audiobook and didn’t have that readily available. Dominic Hoffman’s performance of the audio was excellent, however. And once I got used to the format, I did not feel confused by the constantly changing narrators and timelines.

LINK to my review

message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments I might add this to TBR. It sounds similar to Ken Follets Century Trilogy in a shortened version. (each Century book is about 1000 pages.)

Joy D | 3436 comments I really enjoyed this one too! I debated about 4 or 5 stars, and ended up giving it 5.

Booknblues | 5781 comments I really enjoyed this book and ended up giving it 5 stars.

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