Homegoing Epub Þ Kindle Edition

Homegoing Epub Þ Kindle Edition

Homegoing ❰PDF❯ ✓ Homegoing Author Yaa Gyasi – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Effia and Esi two sisters with two very different destinies One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife The conseuences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow Taking us fro Effia and Esi two sisters with two very different destinies One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife The conseuences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem spanning three continents and seven generations Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel the intimate gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itselfEpic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.


10 thoughts on “Homegoing

  1. Emily May Emily May says:

    “What I know now my son Evil begets evil It grows It transmutes so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home” 4 12 stars Homegoing is an incredible and horrific look at history colonialism and slavery in Ghana and America across 250 years How the author managed to create such rich characters cover so much history and tell such a complex but compelling story in only 300 pages I do not knowI recently said in my review of East of Eden that I love family sagas Those epic tales spanning generations and pulling you into the lives of so many interesting characters yeah they are some of my favourite kind of stories Spending so long with the same family watching them grow through the years and seeing their children face their own problems it just feels so personal I feel like I've grown with themThis book however is possibly the most ambitious family saga I have ever read Most books like this feature three generations Homegoing follows seven generations fourteen perspectives in total It all begins with two half sisters Effia and Esi who will never know each other One's experiences lead her and her family to slavery in America the other's family find themselves mostly in Ghana Each chapter is from the perspective of a new character; first Effia and Essi and then six of their descendants as the story tracks the cultural changes in both Ghana and America through colonialism racism and attitudes to slavery Through the characters we experience life during the tribal wars of the 1700s the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade the ways in which prominent leaders in Ghana aided British and American slavers the fear created by the Fugitive Slave Act and much I can't uite reconcile the knowledge that I've read only 300 pages with the amount of history and rich characterization I've just experienced Considering that I usually grumble when a book has than two perspectives it's uite something that none of these fourteen perspectives felt lacking Gyasi is just a great storyteller; she takes important subjects like slavery and colonialism and peppers them with perfect little conversations and insights into human nature “All people on the black continent must give up their heathenism and turn to God Be thankful that the British are here to show you how to live a good and moral life” Also the British really sucked back then Thank god we got over that pulled our heads out of our arses and started embracing other cultures Oh waitAs is to be expected there's a lot to be disgusted about in this book True to history it is full of blood whippings racist language British superiority and other scenes that will turn your stomach However Gyasi handles it with sensitivity for her subject ensuring that the violence is a honest portrayal of history not gratuitousA gritty detailed story about the long standing effects of the colonization of Africa and the slave trade A real accomplishment to cover so much history in so few pages without feeling rushedBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store


  2. Roxane Roxane says:

    Homegoing is a very confident debut novel Exceptionally engaging and the strongest case for reparations and black rage I've read in a long time Seriously white men are the devil The most interesting part of this novel the structure also becomes the most frustrating part of the novel The story starts with two sisters who are never allowed to know each other and what becomes of the generations they beget starting in 18th century Ghana The novel beautifully explores the slave trade and imagines life in Ghana at that time and as we move forward through time from one generation to the next we see what slavery becomes in the US and how it changes Ghana The early chapters are rich and immersive and I could not put the book down I am impressed by the magnitude of the novel's ambition and how much research went into feeling like the author had herself seen African in the 18th century or the American South in the 19th century or Harlem in the 20th century The closer we get to present day the the chapters feel like they are designed not so much as fictional narratives but rather as vignettes meant to reveal specific historical moments and sociopolitical ideas the civil war the end of slavery the great migration modern civil rights The chapters become shorter We have less time to feel connected to the characters and the narrative starts to feel less satisfying And then there is the ending which is necessary for what the writer is trying to do but which also feels terribly convenient and insubstantial Regardless Homegoing is one hell of a book and because the writing is so damn good I actually appreciated the novel's flaws as a reminder that even a writer this incredibly talented is human I recommend Homegoing without reservation Definitely a must read for 2016


  3. Brina Brina says:

    I give 5 shining stars to Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing the best debut novel I have read this year In this semi autobiographical tale Gyasi follows the family histories of two half sisters Effia the beauty and Esi to reveal how their families end up Each chapter is a vignette focusing on a family member in subseuent generations alternating between Effia and Esi's families until we reach present day Here are their until now largely untold stories Effia the beauty had been raised by her step mother Baaba who did not love her as her own Saved from a fire that plays a prominent role in her family's history for generations to come Effia becomes the village's beauty long before she reaches marriageable age Baaba who always resented Effia's presence sells her to the British in order to ensure the Asante's place in the slave trade and Effia marries an English governor rather than a tribal chief The only memory she takes with her is a black stone polished by fire One village over from Effia's Esi Asare becomes a spoil of a tribal war In a subseuent war she is enslaved and taken to the same Cape Coastal Castle where Effia lives as the governor's wife Before becoming captive Esi receives a black stone from her mother Maame and finds out that she is not her mother's first born rather that she had another daughter who she lost in a fire Through the stone and oral histories Esi learns that separated sisters are to be forever cursed in their family history In spite of hearing this tale Esi is determined to hang onto her stone even when she is sold into slavery and bound in horrid conditions for America Gyasi interconnects the stories of Effia and Esi's descendants by alternating chapters Each chapter tells the tale of the next member of each sister's family down to present time Effia's family remains in Ghana whereas Esi's descendants move back and forth between the southern and northern United States Playing a role in each chapter is the black stone and oral tradition as well as black pride and remembering where one came from through both the good times and the sacrifices made In addition to the family we read how their choices reflect the turmoil happening in both Ghana and the United States up through present times which made the book even powerful than it would have been if Gyasi only chose to tell a family narrative Because Gyasi only uses twenty pages to tell of each generation the pages are powerful and packed full of detail and flowing language Thus each chapter read uickly as I desired to find out how the families ended up I enjoyed the vignette format as though it were Gyasi telling us in person the African style oral history of where her ancestor Effia started and where she ended up It would have been interesting to know a few details in the gaps between generations but Gyasi fills these in easily enough in the next story An extremely powerful read being billed as this generation's Roots I immensely enjoyed Homegoing and look forward to Gyasi's future novels


  4. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    Stunned just absolutely stunned that this is a début novel Spanning centuries and continents the novel follows two families one from the slave trading Fante nation and another from the Asante warrior nation in the British colony that is now Ghana Stepsisters who are unaware of each others existence one will marry a white man a British official who lives in the upper part of the Cape Coast Castle The other in the lower dungeons of the same castle and sold as a slave transported to the American South Any book about slavery is going to be hard to read and this book is no exception In alternating chapters we go from Africa to the south and follow the descendants of the two women We see what happens in Africa the effects of the British Colonization and internal warfare The South slavery and then uasi freedom but under Jim Crow laws South Carolina and its eugenic provramRather than reading as a novel it is almost like portraits snapshots of the lingering effects of slavery Characters change often each chapter narrated by another though some overlap this took some getting used to but each character was important each character I took to heart The writing is fantastic the imagery of fire and water following the different family linesNeedless to say there is not alot of joy within but there are occasional glimpses The novel does end on a surge of hope and another fantastic visual I cannot wait to see what this young already accomplished author will tackle next ARC from Netgalley


  5. J.L. Sutton J.L. Sutton says:

    Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is an ambitious and powerful novel which follows the descendants of two half sisters in Ghana some of the descendants stay in Ghana and some are shipped to America as slaves In one way the chapters of this novel which follow descendants of the two sisters and span roughly 250 years read like short stories because they introduce a totally new character in a new locale However these chapters bleed into each other and the emotional power of the accumulated stories the lives led by the descendants continues to build as we approach the present Besides the tragic stories of those who grew up in slavery or slavery’s aftermath in the United States it’s also fascinating to read the stories of those who stayed in Ghana They don’t become slaves but their lives and the lives of their descendants were forever changed by slavery The various chapters should definitely be read with an eye toward the greater work; however there were stories and characters which made up the book that I identified with than others I identified with Marcus a character who researches and feels incredible pressure to tell an ugly family history His research doesn’t take him to the beginnings of the novel but to a grandparent H who spent years of his life as convict laborer in the mines because of a minor infraction Marcus’s not finding his way all the way back to those sisters in Ghana show how difficult it is to penetrate the lived history of slavery in this country His passion also speaks to how difficult it is to know who you are without your history If you haven’t read this novel yet it’s time to do so This is an incredibly powerful novel Highly recommended Aside I met and introduced Yaa Gyasi at an author event in Wyoming in March on International Women’s Day This was a fabulous experience Yaa talked about her research on Homegoing her decision to fictionalize this history her approach to writing as well as the novel’s reception


  6. karen karen says:

    congratulations semifinalist in goodreads' best historical fiction category 2016 We believe the one who has the power He is the one who gets to write the story 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 picturethis is a shockingly good debut novel it's accurately classified as a novel in stories although there is a strong connective thread binding them together it opens in the eighteenth century with the story of effia followed by the story of esi these women are half sisters who have never met born to the same mother into different villages and different tribes in ghana effia marries an english slave trader while esi is herself sold into slavery the rest of the book travels the bloodlines of these two women through time; in alternating chapters we are presented with the perspectives of each subseuent generation born to the sisters climbing the family tree for about 300 years and six generations which means that after the initial story of each sister there are twelve different POV chapters each telling a new character's standalone storyin about 300 pagesphewand i knew this about the structure from reading other reviews of the book but by the time i finally read this myself thanks for the push alex i'd forgotten this fact and i kind of wish i hadn't it's not that she doesn't pull off the feat very well because she absolutely does but i kept wanting to return to certain characters and of course it never does it's not a bad thing to be so intrigued by a particular character that you're left wanting but with each chapter you're uprooted out of a storyline in some places at a very tense moment and you need to take a moment to process what you've just read before bracing yourself for what might come next because chances are there will be horrors ahead considering the struggles and brutality these characters often faced my complaints are pretty damn trivial; if the worst thing that happens to you all day is boo hooing over readerly dislocation you're having a good day and reading this book will make your day better not in the sense that it will leave you with fuzzy feelings of how wonderful the world is and has always been because this book is filled with death horrors violence and it can get very brutal in its descriptions this is 250 years of african history after all and between the slave trade the journey to america the conditions of slaves in the new world etc etc on to contemporary and insidious forms of racism and violence it's not an easy read emotionally but it will make your day better to know that there's a powerful new voice out there telling important stories with truly captivating transportative effortless grace it's exciting to read something that engages the mind and the emotions and makes you want especially in a debut and it's a really gripping overview of a history made up of those suppressed voices told in vignettes that cover a lot; providing that clearer yet still imperfect picture the only thing preventing this from earning a full five star celebration is that some of the characters especially in the contemporary times were not as interesting to me as previous generations and some were altogether forgettable even though her writing remained strong and fluid throughout so it's never a drag to read and i definitely loved marjorie Marjorie wondered if she was in love How could she know? How did anyone know? In middle school she had been into Victorian literature the sweeping romance of it Every character in those books was hopelessly in love All the men were wooing all the women being wooed It was easier to see what love looked like then the embarrassingly grand unabashed emotion of it Now did it look like sitting in a Camry sipping whiskey?the uickchange POV's sometimes forced me to refer to the family tree in the front to remind me which a to b to c this character's line was on it's easy enough to remember if you're on effia or esi's line and to remember the generation just before each story but when you get to the point where you have to remember 4 5 generations back when it's alternating between the two lines it can get a bit blurry not that that's necessary to understand or appreciate the book it was just for my own needs because i like to trace storylines and look for patterns echoes repetition but warning looking at the family tree is kind of spoilery because you know who's going to hook up with whom and you know that they won't die before they breed after that though no promises it's always invigorating to come across a particularly strong debut novel; to know that this author is likely to get even better over the course of their career i cannot wait to see what she writes next because this was such an intense and beautifully written book i'd earmarked a ton of uotes that i wanted to share and discuss but they don't seem uite right now excised from their surrounding narrative so you'll have to discover them yourself in the course of reading this book and i'll just leave you with the passage that hints at the book's titleOne day I came to these waters and I could feel the spirits of our ancestors calling to me Some were free and they spoke to me from the sand but some others were trapped deep deep deep in the water so that I had to wade out to hear their voices I waded out so far the water almost took me down to meet those spirits that were trapped so deep in the sea that they would never be free When they were living they had not known where they came from and so dead they did not know how to get to dry land I put you in here so that if your spirit ever wandered you would know where home wasMarjorie nodded as her grandmother took her hand and walked her farther and farther out into the water It was their summer ritual her grandmother reminding her how to come homeand i also want to take a second to plug one of my favorite books of all time one that also covers african complicityinvolvement in the slave trade and its horrors The Book of Night Women it's jamaica not ghana and it's even brutal than this one but it also has one of the best characters ever written and it left me with the same feeling of discovering a new writer as this one did and marlon james went on to win the man booker so i'm wishing the same success to gyasicome to my blog


  7. Warda Warda says:

    #BlackLivesMatter “that in America the worst thing you could be was a black man” Wow What an incredible story I'm pretty much blown away by the scale of this story It's grand and I felt fulfilled by the end of it This novel that reads like a collection of short stories has the uniue setting of each chapter following a different character's perspective a new generation that follows on from its descendants from Ghana to Harlem that are often referred back to It's structured like a family tree where we follow it's branches down the line to its origin The roots; which were and are constantly destroyed due to slavery colonisation and police brutality I'm amazed by the depth of the characters within each chapter The story is emotionally brutal and complicated and the characters are extremely well developed to the point we get to know them intimately though not much time is spent with them Even though a generous amount of time passes between each chapter each character it still reads like a full story It left me wanting when it ended and the point of view switched ‘Homegoing’ adds a sense of urgency and relevance to the current political climate pointing out the wrongs that existed then and now A lot of things that happened in history still have the nerve to take place today which is heartbreaking and angers you but inspires empathy and hope in them eually given a voice to those group of people who had it suppressed Gyasi did an incredible job with this novel A must read


  8. Maureen Maureen says:

    Right now it feels as if it's torn my heart and soul apart reading this deeply emotional book It's been such a traumatic journey and in addition to being profoundly moved by it all I also feel both anger and shame at man's inhumanity to manHomegoing tells the story of stepsisters Effia and Esi and it charts their lives and subseuent generations of their families from the 18th century onwards but most importantly it's about the slave trade in all it's grim and sordid detail These sisters know nothing of each other's existence and the path that their lives take are chasms apart Effia marries an English officer and lives in luxury in the upper part of Cape Coast Castle Ghana whilst Esi is imprisoned in the dungeons below awaiting transportation along with countless other poor individuals The conditions that these people were kept in was simply appalling and it wasn't as if life was going to improve once they were transported to a new country because they would be kept as slaves with no real identity they were just some rich man's chattel there to do their master's bidding Imagine living in a little village in Africa living a simple life in mud huts their lives weren't always easy but they were free they had identities those little uirks that made each person individual and then suddenly you're torn away from all that you know into a life of slaveryI have to say that this was a harrowing read but an important one and I'm going to find it very difficult to put it behind me When I finished this book I felt like a silence had descended that feeling of how do I move on to another book immediately after reading this? How do I bring my thoughts together to write a review I have to say that this book felt uite special If I have just one criticism it would be that each chapter featuring a different character ended uite abruptly with no real flow into the next However this is a minor point and didn't detract from the overall feel of the bookIt's hard to believe that this is Yaa Gyasi's debut novel she writes with such clarity bringing the many characters to life both in terms of their feelings and the situations that they had to face and it's such a powerful piece of social history that I would recommend it without reservation Thank you to Netgalley Penguin UK for my ARC in exchange for a fair honest review


  9. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    And so they waited Ness and Sam and Kojo working longer and harder in the fields than any of the other slaves so that even the Devil began to smile at the mention of their names They waited out the fall and then winter listening for the sound that would tell them it was time praying that they wouldn't be sold and separated before their chance came Homegoing was one of the Fiction books nominated for best books of the year by members on Goodreads It made the first round cut I'm on a mission to read other desired TBR nominated books before the year is up Since there are many wonderful HOMEGOING reviews before me here on Goodreadshere's a little side dish to the already great community book pot Fantastic debut novelpowerful storytellingHaving the physical book made it easy to refer to the family tree of generations If I started to forget which person intimately belong to another having the physical book made it easy to flip to the genealogy chartThe two main family sides to keep track of was Effie or Esi given my name is ElyseI had no problem keeping track of the connections that follow the 'E' girls I had already heard from other readers that they wished the stories were longer of each character information about them KNOWING this ahead of time was useful information for MY TURN in reading this book OTHER READERS REVIEWS HELPED GIVE ME A CONTEXT WITH THIS NOVELso that I was able to avoid pitfalls and get most value The way I saw the short chapters were a little like short stories WITH A PURPOSE contributing to the GREATER CONTEXTThe author drives home the evilness that slavery is The fact that in 300 pages Yaa Gyasi covers 300 years worth of the damaging effects that the 'institution of slavery' had on people through personal family storiesgetting a 'glimpse' at each of themis a remarkable achievementThe characters feel very real If I was told ahead of time that this was a true story about real people I would have believed it The author allows us to see all sides of slavery none of it is a pretty picture but she steps back from judgement and allows us to look at the inner demons of the self absorbed greedy misogynistic African and American man Gyasi reminds me a little of another great author another great storyteller who doesn't take sides on issues even horrific evil issues rather stays on purpose with his storytelling TCBoyle A book which comes to mind is 'Tortilla Curtain' I don't mean to sound intellectual about this book because it's not where my heart lives I was simply trying to support another reader in ways other readers have helped me In a book about slavery through generations a with so much to cover I feel 'communities' ought to read this book together and talk about it I WAS EMOTIONALLY touchedTHE STORYTELLING IS VERY MOVINGat the same time it's an important book The history of how groups of slavery migrated from Africa to America is informative and fills in holes with our own understandings This novel is both educational and intimately personalOur hearts get filledand our minds are thankful


  10. Book Riot Community Book Riot Community says:

    This multigenerational epic has already gotten lots of attention and it deserves every bit of it Gyasi’s debut novel begins with two half sisters in 18th century Ghana strangers to each other Effia marries a white man and Esi is enslaved and taken to America The novel follows the children of these two women through the generations alternating between Africa and America As we meet each new descendent we see how the legacy of slavery plays out across history both for the enslaved and for those complicit in the slave trade Each chapter reads like a single short story but the forward momentum across time gives the book a novelistic feeling I adored this book finding it illuminating heart breaking and beautiful to read I can’t recommend it highly enough— Teresa Prestonfrom The Best Books We Read In March 2017 Pretty much everyone at Book Riot has been raving about this book but I’m going to rave about it some I hope you guys aren’t tired of hearing about this book because it really is that good It’s a multigenerational family saga about two sisters born in 1700’s Ghana and separated at birth and each chapter alternates between the different family lines looking at a different generation each time You don’t get to spend much time with each individual character but the breadth and scope of the story is mind blowing And with each new chapter we see how the injustices of the past whether they’re rooted in American slavery or African colonialism build on each other to affect the future The story is brutal but the language is absolutely gorgeous and this is a MUST READ for anyone looking for a new perspective on racial history I’m blown away that this was a debut novel–Katie McLainfrom The Best Books We Read In September 2016 is a multi generational saga that spans two continents and over two hundred years The story follows two Ghanaian sisters and their descendents One sister marries an Englishman and goes to live in Cape Coast Castle; the other is sold into slavery and passes through the castle on her brutal journey to the plantations of the American South The book reads like a series of interconnected short stories each chapter focusing on one character in the family tree I was completely blown away by beauty and poignancy of Gyasi’s writing and the skill with which she executed a story of such grand scale I was completely gripped from the first page–Kate Scottfrom The Best Books We Read In August 2016 don’t know what higher compliment to give this book that to say that it was responsible for a very burnt curry one night I was just going to read a couple of pages while the sauce simmered There is no “couple of pages” with this tale of two half sisters in Ghana Effia and Esi and their descendants Rich evocative and emotional I savoured every page — Rachel Weberfrom The Best Books We Read In February multi generational novel has been getting all the positive buzz by other Book Rioters so I knew I had to pick it up myself and give it a try The story begins with two half sisters and follows the family tree down those branches across around 100 pages through Ghana and eventually the United States Each chapter follows a different member in the family line alternating between different sides of the family Despite the fact that you are only seeing snippets of each person’s life Yaa Gyasi is still able to create a connection between the reader and these characters Each chapter is filled with so much emotion and depth and tackles so many different topics Even though so much of this book was so emotional I didn’t want to put it down— Rincey Abrahamfrom The Best Books We Read In May 2016 now you have heard several Rioters rave about this book and you are sure to hear about it from several Possibly the best book of the year this amazing novel stomped my heart flat with its wrenching story of sisters and slavery Spanning three hundred years Homegoing follows the stories of two half sisters in Ghana – one made a wife one made a slave – and the lives of their offspring in several countries and throughout wars and jealousies births and deaths Gyasi’s writing is astoundingly remarkable The fact that this is her first novel is almost incomprehensible because it’s perfect– Liberty Hardyfrom The Best Books We Read In June 2016


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10 thoughts on “Homegoing

  1. Emily May Emily May says:

    “What I know now my son Evil begets evil It grows It transmutes so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home” 4 12 stars Homegoing is an incredible and horrific look at history colonialism and slavery in Ghana and America across 250 years How the author managed to create such rich characters cover so much history and tell such a complex but compelling story in only 300 pages I do not knowI recently said in my review of East of Eden that I love family sagas Those epic tales spanning generations and pulling you into the lives of so many interesting characters yeah they are some of my favourite kind of stories Spending so long with the same family watching them grow through the years and seeing their children face their own problems it just feels so personal I feel like I've grown with themThis book however is possibly the most ambitious family saga I have ever read Most books like this feature three generations Homegoing follows seven generations fourteen perspectives in total It all begins with two half sisters Effia and Esi who will never know each other One's experiences lead her and her family to slavery in America the other's family find themselves mostly in Ghana Each chapter is from the perspective of a new character; first Effia and Essi and then six of their descendants as the story tracks the cultural changes in both Ghana and America through colonialism racism and attitudes to slavery Through the characters we experience life during the tribal wars of the 1700s the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade the ways in which prominent leaders in Ghana aided British and American slavers the fear created by the Fugitive Slave Act and much I can't uite reconcile the knowledge that I've read only 300 pages with the amount of history and rich characterization I've just experienced Considering that I usually grumble when a book has than two perspectives it's uite something that none of these fourteen perspectives felt lacking Gyasi is just a great storyteller; she takes important subjects like slavery and colonialism and peppers them with perfect little conversations and insights into human nature “All people on the black continent must give up their heathenism and turn to God Be thankful that the British are here to show you how to live a good and moral life” Also the British really sucked back then Thank god we got over that pulled our heads out of our arses and started embracing other cultures Oh waitAs is to be expected there's a lot to be disgusted about in this book True to history it is full of blood whippings racist language British superiority and other scenes that will turn your stomach However Gyasi handles it with sensitivity for her subject ensuring that the violence is a honest portrayal of history not gratuitousA gritty detailed story about the long standing effects of the colonization of Africa and the slave trade A real accomplishment to cover so much history in so few pages without feeling rushedBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store

  2. Roxane Roxane says:

    Homegoing is a very confident debut novel Exceptionally engaging and the strongest case for reparations and black rage I've read in a long time Seriously white men are the devil The most interesting part of this novel the structure also becomes the most frustrating part of the novel The story starts with two sisters who are never allowed to know each other and what becomes of the generations they beget starting in 18th century Ghana The novel beautifully explores the slave trade and imagines life in Ghana at that time and as we move forward through time from one generation to the next we see what slavery becomes in the US and how it changes Ghana The early chapters are rich and immersive and I could not put the book down I am impressed by the magnitude of the novel's ambition and how much research went into feeling like the author had herself seen African in the 18th century or the American South in the 19th century or Harlem in the 20th century The closer we get to present day the the chapters feel like they are designed not so much as fictional narratives but rather as vignettes meant to reveal specific historical moments and sociopolitical ideas the civil war the end of slavery the great migration modern civil rights The chapters become shorter We have less time to feel connected to the characters and the narrative starts to feel less satisfying And then there is the ending which is necessary for what the writer is trying to do but which also feels terribly convenient and insubstantial Regardless Homegoing is one hell of a book and because the writing is so damn good I actually appreciated the novel's flaws as a reminder that even a writer this incredibly talented is human I recommend Homegoing without reservation Definitely a must read for 2016

  3. Brina Brina says:

    I give 5 shining stars to Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing the best debut novel I have read this year In this semi autobiographical tale Gyasi follows the family histories of two half sisters Effia the beauty and Esi to reveal how their families end up Each chapter is a vignette focusing on a family member in subseuent generations alternating between Effia and Esi's families until we reach present day Here are their until now largely untold stories Effia the beauty had been raised by her step mother Baaba who did not love her as her own Saved from a fire that plays a prominent role in her family's history for generations to come Effia becomes the village's beauty long before she reaches marriageable age Baaba who always resented Effia's presence sells her to the British in order to ensure the Asante's place in the slave trade and Effia marries an English governor rather than a tribal chief The only memory she takes with her is a black stone polished by fire One village over from Effia's Esi Asare becomes a spoil of a tribal war In a subseuent war she is enslaved and taken to the same Cape Coastal Castle where Effia lives as the governor's wife Before becoming captive Esi receives a black stone from her mother Maame and finds out that she is not her mother's first born rather that she had another daughter who she lost in a fire Through the stone and oral histories Esi learns that separated sisters are to be forever cursed in their family history In spite of hearing this tale Esi is determined to hang onto her stone even when she is sold into slavery and bound in horrid conditions for America Gyasi interconnects the stories of Effia and Esi's descendants by alternating chapters Each chapter tells the tale of the next member of each sister's family down to present time Effia's family remains in Ghana whereas Esi's descendants move back and forth between the southern and northern United States Playing a role in each chapter is the black stone and oral tradition as well as black pride and remembering where one came from through both the good times and the sacrifices made In addition to the family we read how their choices reflect the turmoil happening in both Ghana and the United States up through present times which made the book even powerful than it would have been if Gyasi only chose to tell a family narrative Because Gyasi only uses twenty pages to tell of each generation the pages are powerful and packed full of detail and flowing language Thus each chapter read uickly as I desired to find out how the families ended up I enjoyed the vignette format as though it were Gyasi telling us in person the African style oral history of where her ancestor Effia started and where she ended up It would have been interesting to know a few details in the gaps between generations but Gyasi fills these in easily enough in the next story An extremely powerful read being billed as this generation's Roots I immensely enjoyed Homegoing and look forward to Gyasi's future novels

  4. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    Stunned just absolutely stunned that this is a début novel Spanning centuries and continents the novel follows two families one from the slave trading Fante nation and another from the Asante warrior nation in the British colony that is now Ghana Stepsisters who are unaware of each others existence one will marry a white man a British official who lives in the upper part of the Cape Coast Castle The other in the lower dungeons of the same castle and sold as a slave transported to the American South Any book about slavery is going to be hard to read and this book is no exception In alternating chapters we go from Africa to the south and follow the descendants of the two women We see what happens in Africa the effects of the British Colonization and internal warfare The South slavery and then uasi freedom but under Jim Crow laws South Carolina and its eugenic provramRather than reading as a novel it is almost like portraits snapshots of the lingering effects of slavery Characters change often each chapter narrated by another though some overlap this took some getting used to but each character was important each character I took to heart The writing is fantastic the imagery of fire and water following the different family linesNeedless to say there is not alot of joy within but there are occasional glimpses The novel does end on a surge of hope and another fantastic visual I cannot wait to see what this young already accomplished author will tackle next ARC from Netgalley

  5. J.L. Sutton J.L. Sutton says:

    Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is an ambitious and powerful novel which follows the descendants of two half sisters in Ghana some of the descendants stay in Ghana and some are shipped to America as slaves In one way the chapters of this novel which follow descendants of the two sisters and span roughly 250 years read like short stories because they introduce a totally new character in a new locale However these chapters bleed into each other and the emotional power of the accumulated stories the lives led by the descendants continues to build as we approach the present Besides the tragic stories of those who grew up in slavery or slavery’s aftermath in the United States it’s also fascinating to read the stories of those who stayed in Ghana They don’t become slaves but their lives and the lives of their descendants were forever changed by slavery The various chapters should definitely be read with an eye toward the greater work; however there were stories and characters which made up the book that I identified with than others I identified with Marcus a character who researches and feels incredible pressure to tell an ugly family history His research doesn’t take him to the beginnings of the novel but to a grandparent H who spent years of his life as convict laborer in the mines because of a minor infraction Marcus’s not finding his way all the way back to those sisters in Ghana show how difficult it is to penetrate the lived history of slavery in this country His passion also speaks to how difficult it is to know who you are without your history If you haven’t read this novel yet it’s time to do so This is an incredibly powerful novel Highly recommended Aside I met and introduced Yaa Gyasi at an author event in Wyoming in March on International Women’s Day This was a fabulous experience Yaa talked about her research on Homegoing her decision to fictionalize this history her approach to writing as well as the novel’s reception

  6. karen karen says:

    congratulations semifinalist in goodreads' best historical fiction category 2016 We believe the one who has the power He is the one who gets to write the story 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 picturethis is a shockingly good debut novel it's accurately classified as a novel in stories although there is a strong connective thread binding them together it opens in the eighteenth century with the story of effia followed by the story of esi these women are half sisters who have never met born to the same mother into different villages and different tribes in ghana effia marries an english slave trader while esi is herself sold into slavery the rest of the book travels the bloodlines of these two women through time; in alternating chapters we are presented with the perspectives of each subseuent generation born to the sisters climbing the family tree for about 300 years and six generations which means that after the initial story of each sister there are twelve different POV chapters each telling a new character's standalone storyin about 300 pagesphewand i knew this about the structure from reading other reviews of the book but by the time i finally read this myself thanks for the push alex i'd forgotten this fact and i kind of wish i hadn't it's not that she doesn't pull off the feat very well because she absolutely does but i kept wanting to return to certain characters and of course it never does it's not a bad thing to be so intrigued by a particular character that you're left wanting but with each chapter you're uprooted out of a storyline in some places at a very tense moment and you need to take a moment to process what you've just read before bracing yourself for what might come next because chances are there will be horrors ahead considering the struggles and brutality these characters often faced my complaints are pretty damn trivial; if the worst thing that happens to you all day is boo hooing over readerly dislocation you're having a good day and reading this book will make your day better not in the sense that it will leave you with fuzzy feelings of how wonderful the world is and has always been because this book is filled with death horrors violence and it can get very brutal in its descriptions this is 250 years of african history after all and between the slave trade the journey to america the conditions of slaves in the new world etc etc on to contemporary and insidious forms of racism and violence it's not an easy read emotionally but it will make your day better to know that there's a powerful new voice out there telling important stories with truly captivating transportative effortless grace it's exciting to read something that engages the mind and the emotions and makes you want especially in a debut and it's a really gripping overview of a history made up of those suppressed voices told in vignettes that cover a lot; providing that clearer yet still imperfect picture the only thing preventing this from earning a full five star celebration is that some of the characters especially in the contemporary times were not as interesting to me as previous generations and some were altogether forgettable even though her writing remained strong and fluid throughout so it's never a drag to read and i definitely loved marjorie Marjorie wondered if she was in love How could she know? How did anyone know? In middle school she had been into Victorian literature the sweeping romance of it Every character in those books was hopelessly in love All the men were wooing all the women being wooed It was easier to see what love looked like then the embarrassingly grand unabashed emotion of it Now did it look like sitting in a Camry sipping whiskey?the uickchange POV's sometimes forced me to refer to the family tree in the front to remind me which a to b to c this character's line was on it's easy enough to remember if you're on effia or esi's line and to remember the generation just before each story but when you get to the point where you have to remember 4 5 generations back when it's alternating between the two lines it can get a bit blurry not that that's necessary to understand or appreciate the book it was just for my own needs because i like to trace storylines and look for patterns echoes repetition but warning looking at the family tree is kind of spoilery because you know who's going to hook up with whom and you know that they won't die before they breed after that though no promises it's always invigorating to come across a particularly strong debut novel; to know that this author is likely to get even better over the course of their career i cannot wait to see what she writes next because this was such an intense and beautifully written book i'd earmarked a ton of uotes that i wanted to share and discuss but they don't seem uite right now excised from their surrounding narrative so you'll have to discover them yourself in the course of reading this book and i'll just leave you with the passage that hints at the book's titleOne day I came to these waters and I could feel the spirits of our ancestors calling to me Some were free and they spoke to me from the sand but some others were trapped deep deep deep in the water so that I had to wade out to hear their voices I waded out so far the water almost took me down to meet those spirits that were trapped so deep in the sea that they would never be free When they were living they had not known where they came from and so dead they did not know how to get to dry land I put you in here so that if your spirit ever wandered you would know where home wasMarjorie nodded as her grandmother took her hand and walked her farther and farther out into the water It was their summer ritual her grandmother reminding her how to come homeand i also want to take a second to plug one of my favorite books of all time one that also covers african complicityinvolvement in the slave trade and its horrors The Book of Night Women it's jamaica not ghana and it's even brutal than this one but it also has one of the best characters ever written and it left me with the same feeling of discovering a new writer as this one did and marlon james went on to win the man booker so i'm wishing the same success to gyasicome to my blog

  7. Warda Warda says:

    #BlackLivesMatter “that in America the worst thing you could be was a black man” Wow What an incredible story I'm pretty much blown away by the scale of this story It's grand and I felt fulfilled by the end of it This novel that reads like a collection of short stories has the uniue setting of each chapter following a different character's perspective a new generation that follows on from its descendants from Ghana to Harlem that are often referred back to It's structured like a family tree where we follow it's branches down the line to its origin The roots; which were and are constantly destroyed due to slavery colonisation and police brutality I'm amazed by the depth of the characters within each chapter The story is emotionally brutal and complicated and the characters are extremely well developed to the point we get to know them intimately though not much time is spent with them Even though a generous amount of time passes between each chapter each character it still reads like a full story It left me wanting when it ended and the point of view switched ‘Homegoing’ adds a sense of urgency and relevance to the current political climate pointing out the wrongs that existed then and now A lot of things that happened in history still have the nerve to take place today which is heartbreaking and angers you but inspires empathy and hope in them eually given a voice to those group of people who had it suppressed Gyasi did an incredible job with this novel A must read

  8. Maureen Maureen says:

    Right now it feels as if it's torn my heart and soul apart reading this deeply emotional book It's been such a traumatic journey and in addition to being profoundly moved by it all I also feel both anger and shame at man's inhumanity to manHomegoing tells the story of stepsisters Effia and Esi and it charts their lives and subseuent generations of their families from the 18th century onwards but most importantly it's about the slave trade in all it's grim and sordid detail These sisters know nothing of each other's existence and the path that their lives take are chasms apart Effia marries an English officer and lives in luxury in the upper part of Cape Coast Castle Ghana whilst Esi is imprisoned in the dungeons below awaiting transportation along with countless other poor individuals The conditions that these people were kept in was simply appalling and it wasn't as if life was going to improve once they were transported to a new country because they would be kept as slaves with no real identity they were just some rich man's chattel there to do their master's bidding Imagine living in a little village in Africa living a simple life in mud huts their lives weren't always easy but they were free they had identities those little uirks that made each person individual and then suddenly you're torn away from all that you know into a life of slaveryI have to say that this was a harrowing read but an important one and I'm going to find it very difficult to put it behind me When I finished this book I felt like a silence had descended that feeling of how do I move on to another book immediately after reading this? How do I bring my thoughts together to write a review I have to say that this book felt uite special If I have just one criticism it would be that each chapter featuring a different character ended uite abruptly with no real flow into the next However this is a minor point and didn't detract from the overall feel of the bookIt's hard to believe that this is Yaa Gyasi's debut novel she writes with such clarity bringing the many characters to life both in terms of their feelings and the situations that they had to face and it's such a powerful piece of social history that I would recommend it without reservation Thank you to Netgalley Penguin UK for my ARC in exchange for a fair honest review

  9. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    And so they waited Ness and Sam and Kojo working longer and harder in the fields than any of the other slaves so that even the Devil began to smile at the mention of their names They waited out the fall and then winter listening for the sound that would tell them it was time praying that they wouldn't be sold and separated before their chance came Homegoing was one of the Fiction books nominated for best books of the year by members on Goodreads It made the first round cut I'm on a mission to read other desired TBR nominated books before the year is up Since there are many wonderful HOMEGOING reviews before me here on Goodreadshere's a little side dish to the already great community book pot Fantastic debut novelpowerful storytellingHaving the physical book made it easy to refer to the family tree of generations If I started to forget which person intimately belong to another having the physical book made it easy to flip to the genealogy chartThe two main family sides to keep track of was Effie or Esi given my name is ElyseI had no problem keeping track of the connections that follow the 'E' girls I had already heard from other readers that they wished the stories were longer of each character information about them KNOWING this ahead of time was useful information for MY TURN in reading this book OTHER READERS REVIEWS HELPED GIVE ME A CONTEXT WITH THIS NOVELso that I was able to avoid pitfalls and get most value The way I saw the short chapters were a little like short stories WITH A PURPOSE contributing to the GREATER CONTEXTThe author drives home the evilness that slavery is The fact that in 300 pages Yaa Gyasi covers 300 years worth of the damaging effects that the 'institution of slavery' had on people through personal family storiesgetting a 'glimpse' at each of themis a remarkable achievementThe characters feel very real If I was told ahead of time that this was a true story about real people I would have believed it The author allows us to see all sides of slavery none of it is a pretty picture but she steps back from judgement and allows us to look at the inner demons of the self absorbed greedy misogynistic African and American man Gyasi reminds me a little of another great author another great storyteller who doesn't take sides on issues even horrific evil issues rather stays on purpose with his storytelling TCBoyle A book which comes to mind is 'Tortilla Curtain' I don't mean to sound intellectual about this book because it's not where my heart lives I was simply trying to support another reader in ways other readers have helped me In a book about slavery through generations a with so much to cover I feel 'communities' ought to read this book together and talk about it I WAS EMOTIONALLY touchedTHE STORYTELLING IS VERY MOVINGat the same time it's an important book The history of how groups of slavery migrated from Africa to America is informative and fills in holes with our own understandings This novel is both educational and intimately personalOur hearts get filledand our minds are thankful

  10. Book Riot Community Book Riot Community says:

    This multigenerational epic has already gotten lots of attention and it deserves every bit of it Gyasi’s debut novel begins with two half sisters in 18th century Ghana strangers to each other Effia marries a white man and Esi is enslaved and taken to America The novel follows the children of these two women through the generations alternating between Africa and America As we meet each new descendent we see how the legacy of slavery plays out across history both for the enslaved and for those complicit in the slave trade Each chapter reads like a single short story but the forward momentum across time gives the book a novelistic feeling I adored this book finding it illuminating heart breaking and beautiful to read I can’t recommend it highly enough— Teresa Prestonfrom The Best Books We Read In March 2017 Pretty much everyone at Book Riot has been raving about this book but I’m going to rave about it some I hope you guys aren’t tired of hearing about this book because it really is that good It’s a multigenerational family saga about two sisters born in 1700’s Ghana and separated at birth and each chapter alternates between the different family lines looking at a different generation each time You don’t get to spend much time with each individual character but the breadth and scope of the story is mind blowing And with each new chapter we see how the injustices of the past whether they’re rooted in American slavery or African colonialism build on each other to affect the future The story is brutal but the language is absolutely gorgeous and this is a MUST READ for anyone looking for a new perspective on racial history I’m blown away that this was a debut novel–Katie McLainfrom The Best Books We Read In September 2016 is a multi generational saga that spans two continents and over two hundred years The story follows two Ghanaian sisters and their descendents One sister marries an Englishman and goes to live in Cape Coast Castle; the other is sold into slavery and passes through the castle on her brutal journey to the plantations of the American South The book reads like a series of interconnected short stories each chapter focusing on one character in the family tree I was completely blown away by beauty and poignancy of Gyasi’s writing and the skill with which she executed a story of such grand scale I was completely gripped from the first page–Kate Scottfrom The Best Books We Read In August 2016 don’t know what higher compliment to give this book that to say that it was responsible for a very burnt curry one night I was just going to read a couple of pages while the sauce simmered There is no “couple of pages” with this tale of two half sisters in Ghana Effia and Esi and their descendants Rich evocative and emotional I savoured every page — Rachel Weberfrom The Best Books We Read In February multi generational novel has been getting all the positive buzz by other Book Rioters so I knew I had to pick it up myself and give it a try The story begins with two half sisters and follows the family tree down those branches across around 100 pages through Ghana and eventually the United States Each chapter follows a different member in the family line alternating between different sides of the family Despite the fact that you are only seeing snippets of each person’s life Yaa Gyasi is still able to create a connection between the reader and these characters Each chapter is filled with so much emotion and depth and tackles so many different topics Even though so much of this book was so emotional I didn’t want to put it down— Rincey Abrahamfrom The Best Books We Read In May 2016 now you have heard several Rioters rave about this book and you are sure to hear about it from several Possibly the best book of the year this amazing novel stomped my heart flat with its wrenching story of sisters and slavery Spanning three hundred years Homegoing follows the stories of two half sisters in Ghana – one made a wife one made a slave – and the lives of their offspring in several countries and throughout wars and jealousies births and deaths Gyasi’s writing is astoundingly remarkable The fact that this is her first novel is almost incomprehensible because it’s perfect– Liberty Hardyfrom The Best Books We Read In June 2016

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