Questioning history

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Well, this has to be one of the more creative and challenging structures for a book.

Two sisters who never meet form the basis of this book as each alternate chapter follows their and then their descendants’ stories.  It is a little hard to read as it does come across as a series of short stories.  There are some wide open and very definite holes in these vinaigrettes.  The impact of these missing stories is gruelling, and it’s hard to accept that was (and is) the reality for many.

This book will challenge most reader’s views on slavery and race.  It’s powerful and disturbing with a real strength of purpose, a first class choice for bookclubs.

There are many ‘lessons’ in it, but what has stayed with me was the reminder that history is written by the victors, by the powerful.  In this time of fake news and global perspectives, it’s a reminder we all need.  And one we must like the teacher in the book impart to our children.

This quote has remained with me:

“We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.”

Put it on your list for your next bookclub choice, loads to think and talk about.

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