This was a great read. It took me a while because of life distractions but it was overall a great read. I cried and laughed and I also longed for an opportunity to have my own Homegoing. This book delves into the slave trade and how it tore families apart leaving generation after generation with no knowledge of our ancestors and our past. Although the story is fictional; there are many truths to be told here.
Every chapter was about a different dependent of Maame from another generation. I honestly got a little confused with which descendent belonged to Effia and which ones belong to Esi.
Sadly, they were sisters and never had a chance to meet even though Esi was right below Effia in the slave dungeons. This makes me wonder about all the other families that were torn about during that time. Initially, Effia didn’t even know her mother. She was raised by her father Cobbe and Baaba. Baaba did not reveal that Maame was her real mother until Effia was off to marry James Collins, a European slave trader.
This book also explains the sad reality of our people being sold into slavery by our own people in power. Some of them even being slaves in their homeland as well. In some instances they did not know that the slaves were being subject to torture, rape, death, etc. and this created animosity toward the Europeans and eventually they were not able to buy slaves. But by them the damage was done. Families had already been ripped apart.
Below are all the descendents of Maame, for she is where it all started.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is “You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.” -Maame
This book takes you from the Asante villages of Africa to the dirt roads, coal mines and streets of America. Yaa is an amazing storyteller and the details put you in the time and place. It is a great read and I highly recommend it.
Homegoing is the debut historical fiction novel by Yaa Gyasi, published in 2016. Each chapter in the novel follows a different descendant of an Asante woman named Maame, starting with her two daughters, separated by circumstance: Effia marries James Collins, the British governor in charge of Cape Coast Castle, while her half-sister Esi is held captive in the dungeons below. Subsequent chapters follow their children and following generations.