Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – Book Review

“White” could be the way a person talked, “Black” the music a person listened to – Marjorie

Once in a while you come across books that leave an impression on you, teach you something new and make you want to think a lot, ask a lot of questions and want to know more about the topic covered in the book. Homegoing is one such book.

I’m so glad I was able to wrap up my reading for this year with this brilliant book. I can’t imagine, this is the author’s debut novel, because it is so well researched and so well written for a work of fiction. I love the different POVs in the book with every character getting their own chapter. And at the same time, all the stories and characters are interlinked. I also loved that there is something (I won’t mention what) that only the reader is made aware of, but the characters are not aware of- right from the beginning till the end. I learned so much about colonialism and imperialism from this book, and being an Indian, I found a lot of similarities between the African culture and their road to slavery and freedom , with that of our culture and history too.

I also love how the author tries to portray the connection between the yin and yang elements (water and fire) of the two family lines in the book- it matches the cover of the book and is quite significant, when you reach the final chapter.

My favorite characters in the book were some very strong people who had a positive outlook to their situation, such as Ness, Yaw, Marjorie, Effia (later on in the book), and Willie. The book has a family tree right at the beginning for readers to keep track of the relationships between the characters, which is great!

I think the only reason I didn’t give 5 stars to the book was because, it was a little sad- to be fair, the subject can’t really be happy and the ending was as positive as one could imagine given the storyline I think. But also, Part 2 of the book does drag a little – with some of the characters. But I really enjoyed the last chapter and the conclusion, so it was all good for me eventually. This book is definitely recommended!

My other favorite quotes from the book 🙂

She would always associate real love with a hardness of spirit-Ness

Sometimes staying free required unimaginable sacrifice-Kojo

There should be no room in your life for regret – Abena 

Just because somebody sees or hears or feels something other folks can’t, doesn’t mean they’re crazy – Marcus (as said by his grandmother, Willie) 

 

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