Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi | Fiction

four-hearts

I started Homegoing on CD, while driving to Cannon Beach Oregon for a watercolor workshop at the ocean.  And I became a bit confused.  That evening, however, when I opened a print copy of the book and found an organization chart (no, that's not what it called.  Cripes, I have been working in the corporate world for way too long!)  Anyway, once I found the family tree, and backed up a little on what I had listened to, Homegoing began to fall into place and I found my rhythm with the book.

The author writes about a character in each of 9(?) generations, beginning on the Gold Coast of Africa in 1764 and through the 1990’s in Palo Alto.  The way she tells the story, you don't have the opportunity to follow one character.  It is on a timeline, not all at one point in time.  That is a bit frustrating.  Still, the depth of the story illustrates Gyasi’s ability to immerse her readers in Black family culture and the slave trade through the generations.  Her storytelling raises this novel to a full four hearts for me.  The only "character" who remains consistent through the generations is a black stone pendant that is handed down from generation to generation.  It is the stone that ties the story into one piece.

This novel is the Deschutes County community read for 2017, and I can see what inspired this choice. You receive an education as well as entertainment. I will be hearing the author speak on May 7, and will edit this post if I learn anything insightful to add!

 

3 responses on “Homegoing

  1. Mary C Crawford

    I had told you in an email that I didn’t care much for this book but couldn’t recall details and my reading journal was at home. So now I have it and it did its job, jogging my memory about this book.
    My opening comment in the journal – “Disappointing”. Other comments: “I was bored with it. No real climax. Lots of little dramas but nothing that really excited me. May be too much of an African, ethnic, Black American story for me to relate to??”
    It is a book that received a lot of positive reviews and promotion. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I stuck with it because I anticipated more.

    1. Andrea Sigetich Post author

      It was our community read, so we had lots of workshops surrounding it, as well as the author come visit, and she was AMAZING. I think many of us were most fascinated to learn about Black involvement in slave trade.

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