Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi)


Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Look at that gorgeous cover! Who wouldn’t want to read this book? I was looking for diverse reads when I came across Homegoing and I instantly knew I wanted to read this debut. Historical fiction plus family saga, what else can I ask for?

I’m proud to say that Homegoing was as wonderful as everyone said it was. After some disappointing reads, I wanted something that truly captivated me and this novel certainly delivered. It was unique and colorful, tragic and unforgettable. It is one of those books that would make great book club choices and I felt like I could recommend it to almost anyone.

As you can see by reading the blurb, this is the story of two half-sisters. But this book is not only about Effia and Esi: Homegoing also follows the lives of their sons and daughters, from the XVIII century up until the present day. Each chapter features a completely different character and, after a brief introduction, Yaa Gyasi explains how they got where they are and what happens next.

As in any similar book, you will probably love some storylines more than others, but the truth is that I actually thought each one of the characters and their lives had something special that felt worth reading. I particularly enjoyed Effia’s chapter, as well as some dark bits featuring a couple of slaves in the American south, a coal miner and his wife, a heroin junkie and much more.


By Eleanor Taylor

Don’t worry about mixing up some characters and timelines: Homegoing features a detailed family tree so you can go back and check it out whenever it’s necessary. For those reading the e-book, I recommend taking a photo as soon as you start reading.

Homegoing was everything I wanted from a family saga and more. Days after, I’m still thinking about its characters and the beautiful prose, wondering how people could be so cruel just because of someone’s skin color. This is an impressive book that everyone with an interest in history should read immediately. It already feels like a classic.

Buy Here

2017, Penguin // ARC

45 thoughts on “Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi)

  1. Renee says:

    I enjoyed your review, it touched on some points I haven’t read in others. I like the idea of reading a saga. I’ve been on the library wait list for this for awhile, I’m looking forward to reading it:)


  2. LairOfBooks says:

    Good one Annie! I am patiently (not so much LOL) for my edition to arrive from the U.K. going on 1 month now smh. I really wanted the cover you’ve used in your post & cannot wait for it to arrive. Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂


  3. LairOfBooks says:

    Good one Annie! I am patiently (not so much LOL) waiting for my edition to arrive from the U.K. going on 1 month now -_- smh. I really wanted the cover you’ve used in your post & cannot wait for it to arrive. Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂


    • Annie says:

      I have an ARC, it’s not that pretty cover, but it was beautiful anyway. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, can’t wait to read your thoughts ❤


  4. Diana says:

    I can’t wait to read this book.It sounds great and I’m glad there is a way around the family tree/many characters since I’ve read reviews that state that the book was abit confusing due to that.Excellent review!


    • Annie says:

      Yeah, you can always check out the tree and then you remember everything. I don’t mind the confusion if I have that to help me. I hope you love it ❤


  5. Jo says:

    Great review, Annie – I’ve heard so much about this one, I was wary of the hype, but your review makes it sound justified. Added to my wish list 🙂


  6. FictionFan says:

    Great review! Sounds very intriguing – a good way to show how circumstances affect people’s lives… hmm! I’ll have to see if I can squeeze this onto my list somehow…


  7. Donna says:

    I completely agree with you on the cover, it’s gorgeous! I’m so happy the story itself sounds just as good 🙂 I think I’ll keep this one for the summer, as I am already swamped with assigned historical reads for the semester. I love following families through time, it makes me feel I travel decades with them. Great review!


      • Donna says:

        Robinson Crusoe, End Game, Wait for the Barbarians, and 10 history books for my Afro-American History class, I can’t remember the titles because I’m still shocked by the length of the list and the fact none can be found at the library…


  8. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    How have I never seen that cover before?!?! Gorgeous! This book has been sitting on my shelf begging to be read for months, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think I am a little intimidated by it, but I am not sure why because I know I’ll love it.


  9. Claire 'Word by Word' says:

    I just finished this and thought it was absolutely stunning, a work of art, to have depicted that history and legacy of slavery through so many interlinked stories, that we as the reader know more intimately than any of the family members that are part of it.

    I was definitely helped by referring back to the family tree before reading every chapter, each chapter alternates between one side of the family to the other, so it does help to remember, as it’s a complex tree. A fabulous read, this book has got to win some awards, a literary accomplishment of the highest order IMHO.


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