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Girl Gone Reading: Homegoing, the divergent lives of a Ghanaian woman's decedents

When I first saw this book on a recommended reading site back in 2017, I added it to my never ending list of books to read. It was published in 2016 so I thought I would surely get to it before now. I'm kicking myself in the ass because I didn't read it sooner. (It was published in 2016.)

If I'm being honest, I read a lot of 'fluff' because it's a nice escape and frankly, those are the books that receive the most attention on Girl Gone Smart - just as they did when I wrote for the Albany Times Union because they're fun, and that's okay. I want people to love reading as much as I do regardless of the genre.

But I'm doing myself a disservice by not digging into the books and authors who make me learn, that make me WANT to learn. And it feels like a disservice to you, too. I get it though. Books are an escape, but they are more to me than that way more often than I write about. They have impact. They shape my views. They soften my hard edges. They open my mind. They teach.

“When someone does wrong, whether it is you or me, whether it is mother or father, whether it is the Gold Coast man or the white man, it is like a fisherman casting a net into the water. He keeps only the one or two fish that he needs to feed himself and puts the rest back in the water, thinking that their lives will go back to normal. No one forgets that they were once captive, even if they are now free. But still, Yaw, you have to let yourself be free.”

I'm not trying to be negative about fluff, young adult, supernatural, or sci-fi stories. I love it all, but my interests vary greatly and this is one of those books that's important for not only self awareness, but of the world around us right this very moment. I've mentioned before I read a lot of books I was probably too young to read. I only wish I had read more. It makes me wonder what paths I would have taken in education, in my personal life, and especially in my career. All I can say is that I'm doing it now and it's making me better in so many ways. I hope some of you will share this particular journey with me.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is brilliant. It's reminiscent of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko in that it spans generations and continents.

"A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also 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."

This book is an adventure, a learning experience, and you will meet characters who will stay with you long after you put the book down. I hope you will give it a chance and that impacts you as it did me. To give details on the story would take pages and pages, so I'm asking you to trust me as I did with Pachinko. If you do, please let me know what you think and how you feel.

Homegoing is available anywhere you can buy books, and of course for the Kindle for $11.99.

As always, be safe.


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