This remarkable debut novel follows the stories of two half sisters, born in Ghana in the 18th century, and their descendants. One sister, Esi, is sold into slavery and shipped to America, while the other sister, Effia, is married off to an Englishman and remains in Ghana. Each chapter alternates and is told from the point of view of a different descendant from each branch of the family, one from each generation. In this way, the novel encompasses a broad history, including war and colonization in Ghana, American slavery, the Great Migration, and more. Gyasi is a beautiful writer, and her characters are well drawn and compelling. Many of these characters experience deep hardship, but the narratives are nuanced and not entirely bleak. A very impressive debut!
Recommended by Amy W.