Sunday, August 26

Joint Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi. Blodeudd is in blue and I am in purple. 

Author: Yaa Gyasi
Title: Homegoing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: June 7th 2016
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle's dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast's booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia's descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation. 

This book is a good one for discussions, and even if at least to me it was not amazing. Does not mean it wasn’t good though! It was good, but I also felt it could have been more. But so much better than our other books ;) Finally a good one.

It was pretty good. Not amazing. Just good. There is a lot to discuss for sure. I felt the beginning was the best and I enjoyed it more. The further down the family line we went the less I cared. I think I would’ve flipped the way the story was written. Start with the modern family and go back and save the good stuff for the ending.

Same. I really liked the beginning. I have never read anything set in Africa at that time. I would have loved more there. I also liked the African bits more than the American ones. Mostly again cos I have never read anything set at that time. I felt what was lacking from the American ones were, warmth? Good characters? Some were interesting, while others, not so much. Some got better at the end, but yes, some of those guys were meh.

I have to agree. I didn’t like the American line after the Civil War. It seemed to lose my interest. I enjoyed the other side more. It was more interesting story-wise and character-wise. I’ve read a couple books set over in Africa, but not much. Plus, I did find it more interesting to see how everyone over in Africa dealt with the colonization and dealing with what they did. Loads of shame and guilt! I can’t imagine selling my neighbors off to be slaves. Yes, the British and other white people are asshats, but the ones left behind allowing and even selling their own people is horrible.

It’s good money in selling your enemies, and it is something we do not read about much, as I have never read a book about it. Those are some horrible enemies to have! I liked how some wises up and thought how evil it was. But the darkness of the British, ugh, that one scene were some soldiers go down into the dungeons. What the f was wrong with them!?

That scene made me so angry! Like these women already have enough Hell to deal with. Monsters the load of them. All of them.

I could not get into my head how they could be that effed up, and then go and marry other women from there…

I don’t get it either. But they were considered lessers since they are just now slaves. Being drunk probably was a huge factor too. SMH. Humans are cruel.

I had actually thought we would see more of actual slavery and I was surprised that we did not. Ok so that might be weird to say, but it’s such a big part and there was just one woman and then nothing more cos they got away.

It was strange. I did expect more from there. I’m glad they got away, but I didn’t expect them to. I totally thought they were going to get caught and beat for trying to run away.

Good that someone got away. And I guess she wanted to write about how slaves and free people had to move again cos of that stupid law. Not to mention it did not matter if you were free or not cos someone could just kidnap and sell you.

Very true. Even if you get away it doesn’t make you truly free.

Horrible. No wonder some fled as fast as they could.

What did you think of the ending?

A bit of anti-climactic. I wanted them to know! it was okay, but I felt like there should’ve been more. There was something missing so it didn’t feel complete.

Same. I liked how it came together, but yes I wanted more.

More was needed for the ending and for the later generations. The best part was the beginning. I said that before but the last few chapters left me feeling meh.

Same. She lost some of what made it good there.

I really think she should’ve just done the first couple of generations and left the rest in an epilogue of sorts.I wanted to know more of the earlier generations. How they lived and etc. I didn’t connect with any of the characters except for the first couple of characters.

Yes, I did not connect with...ack what was his name. 6th generation guy in Africa and his daughter. The previous ones were better. And in the US I lost interest with that H guy.

The half-sisters and their kids were my favorites. The rest? Eh.

Still, an interesting book and it could have been fleshed out. I saw that some did not like the whole 14 POVS things, but I did like that, but yes it could have been more like 10 ;)

I could get behind that for sure. Maybe there were just too many so I didn’t get to connect with them as much.

Anything more to add? interesting book and one that would be good to read. It really gives you a new way to look at certain parts of history. I think a series would’ve been fun so we can stretch everything out, but I did enjoy it overall.

Hmm, maybe on the series, but for me the flashes worked well, but the characters not always. I liked the shortness of it all cos the pages flew by.

Valid. I did like how simple and felt quick. It was a quick read and I blew through it without really realizing it was coming to an end. A series might’ve ruined that.

Short and on the point. I like books I can breeze through. I totally needed that. I mean it took only 2 days and I have no time to read these days so…

It took me 3 days which is pretty quick since it was like 300 pages. Darn work always getting in the way ;) Yes. Quick, simple, but packed with a lot of stories that make you think.

The make you think things were good. And yes again, I want to read more books set in Africa in the 1700s

Shall we wrap things up, there is poop that has to be taken care of…

Yessss I need to find our water shoes for the up north trip. Ugh. Goodness knows where those are at X_X A good discussion! The end?

The end ;)

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.


Blodeuedd said...

I just know our next book will suck now. Ha, I am a pessimist

Carole Rae said...

Hehehe I do worry