So Friday Book Beginnings you choose the book you are currently reading or the one that is closest to you and share the first few sentences. For the Friday 56 you simply turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader and share a sentence or two that you enjoy. Then just add maybe a synopsis about the book in case others are interested. That’s it!
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Published: June 7th, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.
Friday Book Beginning: The night Effia Otcher was born into the musky heat of Fanteland, a fire raged through the woods just outside her father’s compound. It moved quickly, tearing a path for days. It lived off the air; it slept in caves and hid in trees; it burned, up and through, unconcerned with what wreckage it left behind, until it reached an Asante village.
The Friday 56: From afar there was a whistle, an old Dixie tune that lifted from the ground before the sound could be attached to a body. “I know you’re here somewhere,” the Devil said. “And I’m glad to wait you out.” In broken Twi, Ness called to Aku, who was further up in the distance, holding baby Jo. “Don’t come down, whatever you do,” Ness said.
Thoughts: I am only 30% of the way through this and I can say that I have never read anything like this before.
What are you reading this weekend?