Sunday, 14 January 2018

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi's debut novel begins in the 18th century with two half sisters living in different villages in Ghana - they don't know each other. One marries an Englishman working in the slave trade and she moves to the Cape Coast Castle with him. The other is captured and sold into slavery. The book then splits into alternate chapters, each narrated by someone who is a descendant of the two sisters. We get a snippet into their life and, get to experience the effects of the slave trade on their descendants.

This concept was fascinating. I actually grew up in Cape Coast but up until last year, knew so little about the history of Cape Coast so on a personal level I felt like I learnt so much. And I also absolutely loved the idea of following their descendants, the parallel paths they end up on and really seeing the legacy of slavery. We start in Ghana (then Gold Coast), go through Mississippi, the American Civil War ... it's incredible. I will say that the first half of the book is definitely better than the second half.

It's very much about human nature, compassion and how we're all ore connected to each other's experiences than we realise. Homegoing goes does as one of my favourite books of all time.


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