Book Review: Home Going by Yaa Gyasi

This book has been on my TBR for a while and I am glad I finally got around to reading it last week. This is my first book by the author and I was excited getting into it because of the great reviews that I had read.

Home Going’ is a vivid and heart wrenching account of life during the colonial/slave trade era in Africa which is set predominantly in Ghana and the US. The story follows two sisters Effia and Essi who are separated due to circumstances beyond the control of their mother. These two women tread different paths which inevitably define the destinies of their entire lineages. One sister marries a white slaver in Ghana while the other is sold as a slave to far away America. This is a multithemed story about slavery, colonialism, racism and history.

As a lover of historical fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This was my first introduction to any form of Ghanaian history so I was glad to add this to my list of history lessons. I decided to take my time to read each chapter because I wanted to savor each narration page by page. One of the many things that endeared me to this story was the honesty that came with this account of history. It didn’t come off as a one sided affair which is common with narratives around colonialism and slave trade. It was a breath of fresh air. I was captivated by most of the characters in this book. They were believable and relatable in so many ways and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. For a debut, the writing was great and the story was fluid even when we moved from one generation to another. I didn’t eventually give it a five star rating because I thought the author stretched the story a bit too much towards the end. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Published: June 7th 2016 by Penguin

Pages: 315

Genre: Historical Fiction


The Author:

Homegoing: Yaa Gyasi Makes Her Literary Debut | Time.com

YAA GYASI was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she held a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn.

YAA GYASI is available for select speaking engagements. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau at speakers@penguinrandomhouse.com or visit prhspeakers.com. 


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