A review by bklassen
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

dark emotional inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


What absolutely stunning writing – this tells the story of 2 sisters from the same mother who have no idea of each other’s existence. The mother of one runs away during a fire and later has another daughter. Told in alternating chapters of each blood line with descending generations (for instance, the first 2 chapters are told from the perspectives of the two sisters, then the next 2 chapters are told from each of their child’s perspectives), we see these fully fleshed out lives of these generations of one family, one raised in America and the other in Africa. 

Besides the writing being absolutely gorgeous, I loved the storytelling method and the sheer quantity of characters who all feel so different and yet so similar, gathered by shared experiences. I was blown away by the different personalities, perspectives, thoughts, behavior, and lifestyles of all the characters – Gyasi truly has a talent for creating little vignettes that give you great insight into each character and how their parent affects their personality or opinions. 

It is also fascinating to read the myriad of perspectives of race, gender, class, and sexuality from each person. As you can imagine, race and the relationship of white people and colonizers has a great impact on each generation in different ways, especially in the Antebellum South. 

This book felt similar to Pachinko in that we get all these different perspectives across various eras and locations, all tied to one lineage and one where a previous generation still effects the later ones. Fascinating. 

I also really enjoyed the tie in of African values, beliefs, mythologies, and more that I don’t often get in other books. Mythology, especially, is a fascinating subject as it shows how a group explains the natural world.