Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – Review

Today I have my review of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi for you! I was lucky enough to be sent a copy by Viking (an imprint of Penguin) and I absolutely loved this book. It is only January, but already I have found one of my favourite books of 2017.

“An intelligent, beautiful and healing read.” – Zadie Smith


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  • UK Hardcover – 320 pages
  • Release date: 5th January 2017
  • Published by Viking
  • ISBN: 024124272X
  • Goodreads page for Homegoing here!

I think this may be one of the best written books I’ve ever read. Homegoing begins with Effia and Esi two sisters from the Gold Coast of Africa, one is sold into slavery while the other marries a slave trader. It follows their families through the generations in Africa and America. Through the generations we see their experiences of the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism and the racism black people face in America.

I absolutely loved Gyasi’s writing style and it was clear that she did so much research for this book. Her writing was so brilliant that I’m hoping she continues to write and release books. I liked each character we were introduced to and it was easy to keep track of who I was reading. As each chapter was like its own short story I couldn’t put it down, I loved learning about their lives and families.

Although I have studied colonialism and the slave trade in university, I’ve never read a book from the POV of Africans experiencing these things so it was very eye-opening. I think it taught me a lot about the history of the two countries (Ghana and America) and the struggle black people have faced in America since the beginning! The author was born in Ghana and raised in America, so it was great to read an Own Voices book.

I must also say that I LOVED the ending. I won’t say what happens, but it was one of the most satisfying book conclusions I’ve read in a while! It’s been a few days since I read Homegoing but I still can’t stop thinking about it.

I think this is an important read, not only because Gyasi’s writing is so wonderful, but also because of the issues it addresses. As a Scot I know very little about America’s history, and even less about Ghana’s so this was an important book for me. The best way to understand and feel empathy for others is to read about their experiences. This book definitely made me think, so I highly recommend it.

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11 thoughts on “Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – Review

  1. Great review, I’ve never heard of this book but it sounds brilliant, I’m definitely going to add this to by TBR. By the way, how beautiful is that cover?!

  2. Wonderful review, I’ve just finished reading it and loved it too. If you enjoy this kind of perspective, you might be interested to read some of the work of Maryse Condé, whose historical novel Segu, Homegoing often reminded of. But start with her essays Tales From the Heart to understand something of where she is coming from.

    Homegoing is fantastic, like a work of art to me, to have taken on such a challenge to try and view the long trajectory from a turning point in Ghananian and the African continents history, through the lives of the descendants of two half sisters leading into modern day America. And the irony of the fact that it is only the reader who sees the entire story from beginning to end and can appreciate the interconnectedness of it.

    I was blown away by this book and its stories and overcome by the end of it, but what a relief at the end, to find that just sharing something in common with another, who understands you and your perspective can bring such comfort and healing. Even if just for a moment, hope lives on!

    1. Yes, you summed it up perfectly! It was such a wonderful book and the ending is probably one of the most satisfying conclusions I have ever read! I can’t wait to see what the author writes next. I added Segu on Goodreads, thanks for the recommendation!

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