Val's Pick: "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi
Starting in the 1700’s, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi tells the fictional story of two half-sisters from Ghana. One sister, Effia, marries an Englishman while the other sister, Esi, is sold into slavery.
Homegoing follows each sister’s lineage through time with each chapter focusing on a different descendant. This unique storytelling structure emphasizes the differences and similarities between each character’s experience relative to the time period they are living through.
Gyasi’s writing is simple and powerful. A testament to Gyasi’s writing is that in most instances each character is given only one chapter to tell their story and yet Gyasi manages to give the reader a fully realized character who has their own identity and is connected to all of the characters before them.
As with many great books, the more I think about the story the more revelations and connections I make. Homegoing had been on my “to read” list for a long time - it was published in 2016 - and I can’t help but wish I had read it much sooner.