Review: Homegoing


By Yaa Gyasi
Vintage, Paperback, 9781101971062, May 2017, 320pp.

The Short of It:

A story about two women, living very different lives and how their lives form the generations to come.

The Rest of It:

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. ~ Indiebound

My book club chose this book for June and it was an excellent book to discuss but the book as a whole didn’t work for me. The story is told by different characters, each chapter a story in and of itself. Some of these stories I was very into and others, not so much. The ones that really moved me were often too short and then in no time a new character was being introduced.

What the author did well was give the reader an accurate picture of what it was like for slaves during that time. The details of the horrific living conditions are very hard to read. Although I would have liked to focus on fewer characters, I do think the handling of the characters was does well given the large period of time covered in the novel (eight generations).

What thoroughly added to the discussion was the additional facts provided by our discussion host. Lots of information about the Gold Coast and an explanation of boundaries. If I had read this book on my own I don’t think I would have liked it very much but as a discussion book I think it worked very well.

Have you read it?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Review: Homegoing”

  1. I started the ebook but got so busy with other ebooks I borrowed that I have neglected it. Looks like a good historical novel.

  2. I did read it! And this is what I wrote at the end: What a story! I cannot recommend or praise it enough… Ms Gyasi has a keen eye for detail and a sixth sense about just how deep she can dig into the reader’s sensibilities in order to appear impartial (but piercing), enlightening, yet dispassionate (but, oh, so unsparing and keen to draw blood). The result is a haunting tale of injustice, history, and woe that will stay with you. Exceptional.
    So I guess I liked it 😉

    1. Yes! I would say that you loved it.

      How have you been? You’ve been busy but it all looks fun. Hope you and the family are doing well.

    1. I liked it but just didn’t love it. The discussion was excellent though. I wanted to spend more time with a few of the characters instead of covering such a large expanse of time.

    1. There was plenty to discuss and I noticed the book making the rounds again so I’m not sure if someone hosted a read along for it but I am seeing it everywhere.

  3. Sounds like a great book for book club. I have a copy, but have yet to read it. I almost started it, but realized that I wasn’t in the right mood for it and so I gave up. I’m glad you and your book club enjoyed discussing it.

  4. I think I liked this book more than you did, but was often frustrated at the end of chapters. I wanted more of that character, but the book moved on to the next generation! Was happy to have the family tree in the front.

  5. Haven’t read it. People seem to either love it or dislike how it was told. All I know is it is on my (LONG) list of books to read this year.

  6. I have this one sitting on my TBR shelf and hope to read it this summer. It sounds like one where I can skip the parts that are less interesting and focus on the parts that appeal more to me.

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