Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi was a fantastic read and one that will certainly be on my list at year's end of "best books" I've read during 2016.
Gyasi was at Book Expo America signing this book, but I had already received an ARC in the mail, so I didn't wait in line for another copy. However, seeing her there was fun, and seeing the long line forming to get a copy of Homegoing gave me an inkling that this book is destined to be a big hit.
Effia and Esi are half-sisters, born many years apart, never knowing each other. Their lives are vastly different, and this is never more evident than in the way their descendants are affected.
Both are born in Ghana, but Effia's life is easy, having been married off to an Englishman. Esi is shipped to America as a slave.
In each chapter we meet one of their descendants for many generations and get to see the way their lives unfold. Slavery and the Civil War, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, important periods in history unfold as the lives of Effia's and Esi's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many more descendants find their way in the world.
Although not as lengthy as Alex Haley's Roots, Homegoing felt similar to me, as it traced the path of one family for several centuries and told the story of their setbacks and difficulties.
Gyasi's debut novel is a must read - perfect for nearly everyone.