International Reads: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing was one of the most fascinating books I have read. Exceptionally sad but beautifully detailed, I was immediately hooked. The story follows two sisters that will never meet and do not know of each other’s’ existence in 18th century Ghana. We see their family tree unravel as one sister becomes the mistress of a British man and the second sister is sold off into slavery. We see history continue throughout the generations to come both in the United States and in Ghana.

The book is divided into short stories told through different generational characters. Short but yet powerful, Gyasi does a well job of going into depth into history. I felt as if I received the history lesson that had been missing in my K-12 education. I got an understanding of what colonization looked like and those that participated in its success. Understanding colonization through concrete examples helped in me learning and understanding history from a different perspective. This book was definitely a history lesson that was actually entertaining and easy to understand.

Although the book is beautifully written and filled with so much history, the ending did not live up par to the rest of the book. It felt as if something did not quite connect. Once I got to the last page, I literally said, “that’s it?” I felt a little disappointed but nevertheless amazed. For this to be Gyasi’s debut novel, I’m truly blown away.

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