** Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

 

Homegoing is an ambitious novel, blending stories from eight different generations of a family from modern-day Ghana, one branch sold into slavery and ending up in the United States, the other one staying behind. The story is heavily, ponderously articulated around historical themes, and I often wished that it would show more than tell: we readers can easily tell that slavery is a horrible system by reading of the characters’ misadventures; we don’t need an harangue to explain. And why the emphasis on royal roots? The story would have been just as good with non-royals, I think.

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