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TanjaMaFi

vor 4 Monaten

Two sisters, two destinies and their long legacies

Sometimes the fate of two people can influence the lives of many generations to come. Homegoing tells such a story. Yaa Gyasi's debut takes us from Africa to the US and even further as the lives of Effia and Esi unfold and the destinies of the descendants unravel ...

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More about the book 
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. Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer. 

More about the author
Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana. She moved to the US when she was 2 years old because her father worked towards his PhD at Ohio State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts at Stanford and a Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Homegoing, inspired by a trip to Ghana, is her first novel..

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Autor: Yaa Gyasi
Buch: Homegoing

TanjaMaFi

vor 4 Monaten

1st Section: Effia, Esi and Quay

Welcome to this month's book club read. How do you like the setting of the story? What do you think of the sisters Effia and Esi?

TanjaMaFi

vor 4 Monaten

2nd Section: Ness, James, Kojo and Abena

The destinies of Effia und Esi's descendants continues. What do you find most intriguing or appalling?

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StefanieFreigericht

vor 3 Monaten

3rd Section: H, Akua and Willie

paevalill schreibt:
But of course you cannot tell too much about a single person, though I think she captured the very core of every person very well.

That was (at first) exactly what I disliked.
But after having finished the book, and with me thinking on and on about it (I actually only managed to hear something light after it, the book is still with me - real book "hangover" ;-)

I think it is brilliant to just write it as it, with just a short glance:
the family line for the descendents that got to the U.S. is broken (in terms of not being capable to keep up contact): why should we as the readers feel any better?
It is as if Gyasi where to make us stand in the characters' shoes, but not being capable to figure out what happend to e.g. Ness in the end: did Stockham beat her? But then, she would not even know what happened to her son. Or H: he would not even by hearsay know anything about his parents, only that he was a cesarian cut.

And this is something I guess I never thought about: I knew my grandmother and she knew hers and talked about her (only two less generations than those withing the book...). She even walked me around places (living, work, churches, graveyards). Coming to compare this, anybody in the US with the heritage of slavery cannot rely on this.

StefanieFreigericht

vor 3 Monaten

3rd Section: H, Akua and Willie

BloodyBigMess schreibt:
What personally affected me most was Willie's chapter and how Robert deserted her. Even though I can empathize with the pressure and how much more attractive it was to be a white man back then, I thought it was disgusting and cruel how he just masked his black side and left Willie and Carson as if they never were. Willie forgives him in the end, because she can understand, but for me it seemed like the coward's way out.

I first had the same feelings about Robert.
But then I came to think differently: Imagine how much he must have feared to be found out. Willie, she was obvious to everyone. But Robert - he would have lost everything, probably wife and kids, Job, wealth. His son with his white wife would have been "black" all of a sudden. His wife would have been looked upon.
And: not being perceived as black either, he would have had no other place to go. He must not have had one spare minute of relaxing, all fear, everytime.
Some punishment for what started off certainly as cowardice.
Still, a punishment laced with gold, I agree ;-)

I think I saw something like a story like (TV???) his' but cannot remember what it was.

paevalill

vor 3 Monaten

3rd Section: H, Akua and Willie
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@StefanieFreigericht

I also think that it is not that simple. The whole situation shows the tragic of it all. It was (is?) difficult for black people to find their places at society. But for neither black nor white it was maybe even more complicated. You just don't belong to anywhere. This is what you see in the next section at another chapter.
What really touched me here was the fact that still both of them (Robert and Willie) could accept the choices both made. This is real strength in my opinion.

paevalill

vor 3 Monaten

3rd Section: H, Akua and Willie
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@StefanieFreigericht

This is something I had not yet thought about. But you're right - the short stories make even more sense with that fact. (Though I already liked that style before)
There are so many aspects of crime in the whole fact of slavery. And just taking people out of their heritage line (that's what it is) is just one of it. It needs to be already difficult for people to find their places in society. But not knowing where they come from might even make it more difficult as everyone just wants to understand its heritage.

paevalill

vor 3 Monaten

4th Section: Yaw, Sonny, Marjorie and Marcus
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For me the end was also very beautiful. I actually guessed that they both find their necklaces to be the same. But just as the sisters never found out about each other, also their great-great-great...-grandchildren never did. Which is the better end, I guess. Because it is the core of the whole story: Not seeing, but feeling the long lost connection.
Though Marcus does not understand in words what happens with him back "home", he just feels it. The connection between fire and water hit it too.

paevalill

vor 3 Monaten

Which character do you find most fascinating?

I don't think I can name one person alone. Everyone made its contribution to the whole story. So for me personally everyone's story was fascinating in its own way.

paevalill

vor 2 Monaten

Review

This is finally my review (though in German):
https://www.lovelybooks.de/autor/Yaa-Gyasi/Homegoing-1453151308-w/rezension/1485595537/

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