I am finally getting around to read my second Cannonball Read book exchange gift book this year from Bonnie (thanks Bonnie!) I don’t know what took me so dang long because I loved the first book she gave me, Red White and Royal Blue, and it wasn’t even on my radar to read, and neither was Homegoing and I should have known that Bonnie knows her book business and BOY. DOES. SHE. Homegoing is definitely in my top books of the year, and one I’m going to be recommending to everyone.
Gyasi follows two half sisters born in Ghana in the 1700s and their parallel paths and descendants through eight generations, from Africa all the way to the United States. It is wildly creative and deftly weaves these characters into history as we see their lives unfold, and how they are all still connected to their origins.
I love a book that jumps character point of view, but it’s a delicate balance to pull off. Typically the issue is that you end up liking some characters more than others so the chapters with your faves are great, but then others become a slog. Gyasi avoids that pitfall entirely because every single chapter is a different character. And I mean, wow, what a feat. To create and embody so many different characters and voices so so well. This book almost reads like a short story collection because each chapter is a different period of time, voice, and length and all are interesting. She helpfully provides a family tree at the front of the book so you can keep everyone straight. I got a little lost with some magical elements in a few storylines (I wasn’t sure what conclusion I was meant to draw) but found this book imaginative, educational, and very well done. I immediately picked up another book of hers and will jumping into it soon!