Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 5 stars
Effia and Esi are half-sisters born of an Asante woman in 18th century Ghana that will never meet. Effia is married to an Englishman and lives in luxury the Cape Coast castle but also in fear that she will not produce a child and be cast off by her husband. Effia has no idea that her sister was once put in the dungeons in the very same castle before being shipped off to the New World.
Homegoing traces the lives of both women and their descendants. Each chapter is dedicated to a generation. By piecing the stories together, the novel traces the family's experience with far, famine, slavery, coal mining, and drugs - all of the way to modern day America. Readers, or in this case listeners, are ushered along a sweeping three century epic seamlessly. Gyasi spares the reader neither the frank horror of the African slave experience nor the little discussed forced mining labor in the Jim Crow South.
Award winning narrator Dominic Hoffman's engaging voice tackles the varied accents adeptly. His performance is riveting and brings to life Gyasi's fully realized characters. It takes a writer of incredible talent to create such charismatic and sympathetic characters in just a chapter.
This was a moving and meaningful book; one that I feel will be considered a classic on the level of The Color Purple and Beloved.