Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi (Viking, hardback released on January 5th), is a beautiful book, both inside and out (I mean, look at that stunning cover. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its outer beauty, but this vivid cover of pattern and orange certainly caught my eye!). Filled with beautiful prose, following a story of epic proportions, this is wonderful fiction, and I was delighted to receive a copy to enjoy.
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, this is a book about life, destiny, family and hope.
Gyasi writes beautifully and the entire book is a masterpiece of pacing and scene setting - the writing is vivid and masterly throughout. In many stories you will encounter the point of view of one, two, or a few characters - in Yaa Gyasi's novel we encounter 14. The book tells the story of Effia and Esi, before following their families through the years that follow. Gyasi is a born storyteller and weaves these many stories with ease, telling a tale of a family divided by time and space, but held together within the pages of this novel.
This book includes big questions on colonialism and imperialism, and I felt glad to be reading it in such a month as this, when certain factions would have us embracing a mentality of us-and-them once again. This is a beautiful, well-crafted, and enjoyable book, and it's an important one too.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book to review from the publisher. All opinions, thoughts and ponderings are my own.