Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing is an absolutely beautiful debut novel about life, family, identity, and home.
It follows the story of two branches of the same family in Ghana, from the beginning of the slave trade to present day. One branch stays in Ghana, the other is sold into slavery in America, and slowly these two branches twist and turn and wind up back home.
The chapters alternate between branches, and each chapter is a new perspective, a new generation. You see how the current situation and culture affects that character, that family, as time continues to pass. Times aren’t always easy, and we witness firsthand the slave trade, slave life in the American south, the Fugitive Slave Act, Jim Crow, and the Great Migration. We see the tribal wars of Ghana, “African witchcraft”, and the effect of the White Man on African culture.
And yet we also see love and family, how despite being beaten down, people can rise up again and take control of their lives, despite being told they can’t.
The characters are so well developed, so rich and individual, and the history complex and authentic. It’s a 300-year family saga so complex and heartbreaking, yet inspiring and absolutely beautiful.