This had been on my wish list for some time but then a bookish friend recommended it so I upped its place in the “line.” I’m glad she did. It’s quite good. So good in fact I may have to revisit shortly. I read her debut novel, Homegoing, a few years ago (2017) and my review is at the link. https://mybecky.blog/2017/05/07/homegoing-by-yaa-gyasi/
by Yah Gyasi 2020 / (288 pages)
Read by Bahni Turpin 8h 40m
Rating: 9 / contemp fiction
It’s a very ambitious novel involving a multitude of themes like immigrants from Ghana to Alabama. Whole novels have been written on the “contemporary immigrant experience” alone. The first person narrator, Gifty, is a graduate student working toward a PhD in neuroscience so there’s another theme in “the battle of science vs God.” I don’t know if I’ve ever read a novel with that theme although maybe.
In Alabama Gifty has her mother, her father (The Chin-chin Man) and her older brother, Nana. Nana is also very bright as well as athletic. Mom is religious while Dad goes back to Ghana and doesn’t return. Nana becomes addicted to heroin. Mom gets very ill. “Loss and grief” are pervasive and powerful themes.
Meanwhile, is torn between her belief in God and her scientific ideas. She has problems with her mother who does not handle the losses of her husband and son very well. Adapting to the US and the racism of Alabama, and eventually problems with her boyfriend who wants them to marry. The tale is not necessarily told in chronological order but that doesn’t seem to matter.