Online Book Club: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 2


Homegoing

Welcome to the online book club for Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

I hope you enjoyed reading this book. I am glad I read this book – it was very well written. Each and every character came alive and I thought it was an interesting way to tell the sisters’ story through their offspring. Reading it was hard emotionally, though. It’s tough to read about the horrific parts of history. However, it is important to know what has happened in the past.

You can discuss the questions in the comments section below on the blog or join us on Facebook.

Thanks for joining us!

July’s book will be Beartown by Fredrik Backman with discussion on July 26. More details are on the Online Book Club page.

  1. What is your favorite moment from the book? Least favorite?
  2. Overall, did you like the book? Why or why not?
  3. Who was your favorite character and why?
  4. Who was your least favorite character and why?
  5. Have you ever read a book before that was set during the slave trade on the African continent?
  6. What is something new you learned about history reading this book?
  7. How much does family lineage affect our lives? Is there something or someone in your family tree that affects who you are today?
  8. What do you think the significance is of the title, Homegoing? (Homegoing is an African-American Christian funeral tradition marking the going home of the deceased to the Lord or to heaven.)
  9. What’s a question I didn’t ask that you’d like to discuss?

Thank you for reading with us and stopping by to discuss Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi!

Join us in July to discuss Beartown by Fredrik Backman!

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About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.


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2 thoughts on “
Online Book Club: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi”

  • Sarah Anne

    1. “I will be my own nation.” Akosua

    My favorite moment was when Akosua said this to James. She had strength and courage to take her destiny into her own hands. She took a chance to wait for James and start a new life.

    My least favorite part was the description of life at The Castle for the Africans both above and below. It was hard to read about the dungeons. The “wives” of the Europeans were only married to them to make the men feel slightly better about cheating on their wives while in Africa.

    2. I really liked this book, although emotionally, parts of it were hard to read. History can be like that, though. We must know the terrible parts of history, along with the victories and achievements. To know the background of how the slave trade started puts it as a world-wide tragedy, not something limited to America or Africa or Europe. I think the way the story was told was captivating. To create a character in each time period to show how slavery affected the sisters’ lines through time will make me remember this story for a long time.

    3. James and Akosua are my favorite characters. They took their futures into their own hands, even though it was a hard life. James was given a name that didn’t fit him, so he didn’t feel like he fit into the life that was laid out for him. Akosua gave him the thought of leaving and when he saw an opportunity to start a new life, he took it. It would have been hard at the point in time to do anything other than what was expected of you, yet they took a chance.

    4. Akua was one of my least favorite characters because of the tragedy with the fire. What an awful thing to have to live through. I’m still not sure if she was mentally ill, or if just seeing a man get killed by fire created a fascination with fire. Or did she just start the fire in her sleep?

    Kojo’s story also broke my heart when Anna was taken. What a horrible thing to happen? Having your pregnant wife get kidnapped and never found would haunt a man for the rest of his life. I don’t think you would ever stop looking for her or the child.

    5. I do not remember reading a book set on the African continent. I found it really interesting that it started the story at that point since many just focus on what happened with slavery in America.

    6. I learned more about how life in African villages were during the slave trade. The British and Europeans coming to Africa had a ripple affect on the entire continent. Wars were provoked to get more “prisoners” to sell. It seems they wanted to keep the unrest alive and didn’t want the continent to have peace.

    7. Like H, I have a family branch that has a question mark. We only know the name of my mother’s paternal grandfather and nothing else from his line. Having a mystery in the family tree has you always wondering about all the people that come off that branch. I think that sometimes talents (sewing, drawing) or addictions (alcoholism, gambling) can travel down a lineage like red hair and blue eyes.

    8. The book starts with the two sisters in Africa and ends with their two descendants back in the same area. I think Homegoing is in reference to them coming back to the place of their ancestors, which came about because of Marjorie’s grandmother dying. It’s interesting that they end up in the ocean when it’s mentioned that the ocean floor is the burial ground of many Africans.