Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Blurb from Goodreads
novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.
Why I Want To Read It
I don’t know why it took me so long to appreciate the beauty of African literature. I’ve been reading for quite some time but it wasn’t only until I started reading books from must-read lists did I start encountering and reading works by African authors such as Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, and more recently, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, J.M. Coetzee and Bernardine Evaristo. Through their excellent writing and outstanding works, I’ve come to appreciate the diverse colors of the African continent.
Following through with this tradition, I’ve added some renowned works by African authors to my ever-expanding reading list. One book that has certainly captivated me is Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. I am not really sure what drew me in but I do recall a fellow book blogger writing a glowing review of the book around 2017. I would encounter yet another positive review of the book in 2019 which consolidated my resolution to read this book.
Thankfully, I was able to purchase a copy of the book last year. As I have dedicated 2020 to works by African authors, Homegoing is going to be part of the pipeline. I am giddy in anticipation as to what this book holds. Its high rating in Goodreads and the numerous accolades it received makes me even more excited.
Have you read this book before, fellow reader? If yes, I hope you could share your thoughts in the comment box.
Happy first day of the week everyone!