Homegoing: A novel
Homegoing is set in the latter half of the 1700s and finds two half-sisters born in different villages in Ghana. The two never meet but learn of each other only to be separated by circumstances. Effia is married off to a white man to live a relatively comfortable life in a nearby castle literally built on the back of and containing an ever rotating dungeon of slaves. Esi is captured and sold into slavery and eventually arrives in America. The two narratives then swap back and forth following each sister’s descendants through history, both American and African.
Homegoing is a powerful book. Gyasi’s writing is lyrical and flows beautifully, and the book should be read if only to experience that. However, it delves deep into issues of race, gender, and identity. The early chapters, especially, are fantastic at painting vivid descriptions of life in 18th century America and Africa. The later chapters begin to shift into more short stories capturing snapshots of each descendant’s life at a tumultuous period in history. Despite the minor issues, Homegoing has the potential to become a modern classic.
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