Coming home. #myfriendsarereading … Homegoing

Reader: K.L.B, Female, 24, lives in London
Citizenship/nationality: Irish
Book: Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi
Photo sent from: London, United Kingdom (pictured: J.B.)

What’s this book about; what do you like about it?

There’s a line in Yaa Gyasi’s debut that I keep returning to. It feels especially relevant right now, in a world where people seem to be rapidly closing up borders, doors, hearts and minds:

Sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your home.

Beginning at Cape Coast Castle, this panoramic story follows the descendants of two half-sisters (one a slave, the other complicit in the slave trade). The book reminds us of the horrors humans are capable of visiting upon each other, and highlights the need for empathy that infuses all interactions in our lives. (The personal is political)

What struck me most was the way Gyasi mimics the feeling of ancestral knowledge slipping away – we get a snapshot of each generation then move on, never knowing how any of these characters’ stories end.  And yet, despite this fragmentation, Homegoing is utterly gripping. It’s honestly amazing to me that this is a debut novel.

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