Wow! I was surprised to learn that this author was only 26 years old when this book came out. Kudos to her for such an ambitious effort. The book was well researched and heart wrenching in some parts. Unfortunately, it took several chapters for me to fall into the rhythm of her story-telling style. At first it felt dis-jointed and I kept having to go back to the family tree at the beginning of the book, to clarify how the current chapter connected to the previous chapter. I have to admit I expected the paths of the two lineages to have a much wider divide in their experiences than they did. But I thought the characters would connect sooner. As it was, both lines endured suffering. I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster, feeling the depths of their despair and disappointments. I was hoping against hope for reconciliation and restoration for the characters. There was a sense of resilience among the characters that resonated throughout the book. As I like to say, “When a book causes the reader to experience emotional reactions; anger, sadness, joy, relief, etc. I believe the writer has done their job well.” And Yaa Gyasi did that!
Darlene Pryor, the author