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Archive: Other Books > [Poll Book Tally] Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and not sure how to rate this

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Karin | 7000 comments How do I rate this? On the one hand, the writing is amazing, on the other hand, from beginning to end it is very dark and my days of truly liking dark novels are in my past. This is almost like a group of short stories about two half sisters (who never met) and their descendants that begins in what is now called Ghana, and so I felt robbed many times in knowing more about certain characters. I expected the darkness for the ones that were enslaved in the States, but hadn't expected it for those left in Ghana; it's almost like the family was cursed for generations. Suffice it to say that the 18th and 19th century slave trade had lasting repercussions on both sides of the Atlantic, since Gyasi is very honest in her fiction about these things in the history of all of this, including cultural misunderstandings.

Each character was well drawn, on the other side there was something rather predictable about the ending, although whether that is good or bad is a spoiler, so I will say nothing. But I loved the honesty of how she has depicted Marjorie, but to say more is to give away too much for me.

At any rate, it might be that in a few days I'll be able to rate this, but right now it is too soon.

message 2: by Joanne (last edited May 20, 2020 04:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7472 comments This would have been a 5 star read for me, had it not been for the ending.

Susie | 4488 comments I felt the same Joanne.

Booknblues | 5766 comments I'm pretty sure that I rated it 5 stars, because of what she did. That being said, I would love her to return to the book and expand some of the stories.

There were some, I didn't want to end and wanted to find out more about them

message 5: by NancyJ (last edited May 20, 2020 08:08AM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments I had a hard time rating it too. This book (or at least some of the stories within it) stayed with me for very long time. In retrospect I think it deserved 5 stars. It's a compilation of short stories that combine to tell a larger story. It took me a while to finish it because the transition from one generation to the next was often too abrupt for me. Each time she moved to the next generation, we were torn from the previous one, so I agree with that feeling of being robbed. But by doing this, she gave us stories that spanned the history of 200+ plus years. We can see the effects that the slave trade had on both families and both countries during this time. Most books about slavery focus on just the plantation period, which is the middle of the story, without a beginning or an end. I think it's important to understand how it began, and the impact it had on succeeding generations. This was a history lesson in stories, which is actually my favorite way to learn about history. I'm curious if the book is being used in schools.

I don't remember much about the final story (or pair of stories). (view spoiler)

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