Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: A Review
Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is a gift that keeps the reader captivated page after page, chapter after chapter. With this beautiful family portrait, the author has distinguished herself by telling both sides of the slavery narrative: capturing the stories of those who were taken away as well as those who they left behind. Leading with two incomparably strong matriarchs who begin two separate family trees, each chapter in this remarkable tale vacillates from one branch of each tree to the other. The story is told in writing that is exquisitely potent:
His mother always said that the Gold Coast was like a pot of groundnut soup. Her people, the Asantes, were the broth, and his father’s people, the Fantes, were the groundnuts, and the many other nations that began at the edge of the Atlantic and moved up through the bushland into the North made up the meat and pepper and vegetables. This pot was already full to the brim before the white men came and added fire. Now it was all the Gold Coast people could do to keep it from boiling over again and again and again.
The strength of the family bond is a theme that resonates through this tale: the biological ties that bind us together, the differences that often separate us and dysfunction that makes us unique. Ms. Gyasi’s remarkable gift of ingenuity in storytelling shines through in this amazing debut novel.