Author: Yaa Gyasi
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO
This is my 74th book for the year. I listened to this one.
This book covers several generations of a family from Ghana. It starts with two half sisters named Effia and Esi. They are born in different villages and their lives take completely different paths. Effia marris an Englishman and lives in a castle. Esi is improisoned under the castle in the dungeons and then is sent to America to work as a slave. Effia's family expands and grows in Ghana and Esi - her children and grandchildren into America where they spend generations as slaves.
In Ghana, the Fante and Asante nations fight against British Rule. Esi's family works through the Civil War, the Great Migration, and then through coal mines and jazz clubs. Both families are followed through present day and moves at a record speed through the several hundred years of this family's growth and change. 8 generations in all - it spans the ocean between America and Ghana, ending in Africa with the latest decendents of these women. It covers wars, slavery, drug use, and family struggles in 300 pages. It is a heartbreaking story that is both beautiful and disturbing.
I liked this book. I think it was pretty well written - considering the author is only 26 years old. It did have a bit of an unfinished sense, just because she flew through 8 generations in a short....ish novel. I don't often say this, but I felt it could be longer to develop the characters a little more, and to give me a feeling of connecting with them on a deeper level.
Overall, listening to the story from the 1700s to present day was fascinating. I like stories that span generations so we can see where they started and how the tree branches grow. How two very different paths lead to two very different outcomes.
I would encourage you to try this one. You will learn a lot about African history and American slavery that you might not have learned otherwise.
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