Book Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Among all my favourite passive activities, I've always found reading to be the hardest one to get back to after a long break. Thankfully, I'm addicted to the activity enough to start and have a hard time stopping. Consider it the curse of an imaginative mind.


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Homegoing is one of the two books I've completed this year and it has so far been the most memorable book I've read in a very long while.

It is a 350-page historical fiction written by a Ghanaian author. She uses this story to paint a beautiful and terrifying picture of the impact of slavery and the slave trade from a Ghanaian point of view.

This is the second historical fiction I've read in my life, the first being Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. A beautifully written book where she painted the picture of how badly people suffered during the Civil War in Nigeria.

The Plot

Homegoing is a historical fiction which looks into the 7 generations of 2 half-sisters. These 2 sisters, Effia and Esi never met but were born of the same mother to two different men in two different villages in Ghana.

Effia never knew of the existence of Esi, but at the last minute, before Esi was captured, her mother told her about her half-sister whom she would never meet.

Effia was married off to a white man in Ghana, while Esi was taken as a slave to America to work on a cotton plantation. And that's where the story began.

Effia had a child who would later be married to a woman from his village and have children who would have children that would remain within the confines of Ghana until Yaw was born.

Esi's generation, however, went on a different path of losing their identity and not knowing where they had come from after Kojo's wife was kidnapped and she bore their son H right before she died. Forcing H to grow up, have children, and have no idea where he came from.

The story is one of suspense, tragedy, love, romance and hope. It took me through so many timelines for not only civilisation but humanity. The laws that guided men, the madness and the sanity.


I haven't read a book that made me cry in a very long while, but this book did. It evoked some emotion in me that I never thought I could get from a book.

It made me fall in love with certain characters who would then age and die or simply die without ageing. Their stories would seem unfinished while I would be transported to a new plot once again, with completely new players.

The author is one with a creative mind and has opened a newfound interest in me in other African authors.