Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing is the story of two half-sisters, Effie and Esi from similar backgrounds, living in Africa on the Gold Coast, who go on to live very different lives. One marries a slave trader and the other is sold into slavery. The novel follows Effie and Esi and their offspring into the many generations to come. The story spans decades and continents from Africa to America.


This has been all over my bookstagram and just couldn’t stop myself from picking it up. I really enjoyed the premise of the book, almost like a collection inter-related short stories. I found myself connection with each character, some more than others of course, but I felt each had sufficient time to tell their story, play their role. I know many readers wished to know more from some of the characters, there were definitely some I could have read an entire novel on, but I felt that Gyasi wove an intricate story in relatively short space of time and I certainly was not disappointed.


Ever since picking up The Power of One I have always had a fascination with African culture. The collective spirit, the superstitions, so unique and vivid and Homegoing left me wanting more. The early slaving stories broke my heart. The too say downfall of the Africans at the hands of the white invaders echoes Australia’s native history. Small tribes waring with each other – even selling each other off – made it all too easy to divide and conquer.


Overall this novel was simple and beautiful. I did not want to put it down and found myself racing through it. The ending holds a beautiful symmetry, yet, is not too sentimental with Gyasi showing restraint that left me wanting more. I give Homegoing four stars, well worth a read in my humble opinion.


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