Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

by Yaa Gyasi

As this title is one of our finalists for this year’s One Book – One Lincoln winner, I got a head start reading it, so I’d be able to facilitate discussions as needed. I’m very happy that this was chosen as one of the finalists. It’s a wonderfully written story about an African woman (The Woman of Fire) who narrowly escapes being enslaved by starting a forest fire. The woman leaves behind a daughter, and later has another daughter. The rest of the story follows the lives of these daughters, their children, their children’s children, etc. It goes all the way from the 18th Century to present day, with each chapter devoted to one descendant of either daughter. The chapters lightly touch on previous characters and parts of their story, but in essence, each chapter is like a stand-alone short story. I found it truly amazing, the way these people were all tied to each other, yet they each stood out in their own right. Something else I really appreciated was that each chapter had its own historical event that was taking place at that time, which really helped the reader get a handle on how time is progressing.

I borrowed this from the library, but this is one of the rare books that I think I’ll end up buying to re-read down the road!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The Stand, by Stephen King (if you like stories with a LARGE cast of characters). For more on the topics of slavery and/or finding your history or roots: Roots, by Alex Haley, The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead, Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northup or The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom]

[ publisher’s official Homegoing web site ] | [ Wikipedia page for Yaa Gyasi ]

Recommended by Tracy T.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read or listened to this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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