by Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi’s award winning debut novel follows the lives of two half-sisters in what is now present-day Ghana. The sisters never meet but the reader learns about each of them in turn as well as their descendants with a time frame spanning from the late 18th century to the present. Effia is the elder sister, a member of the Fante people. She becomes the African wife of the British governor and moves to Cape Coast Castle to live there on the upper floors. Esi belongs to the Ashante nation. She is captured by clan rivals and sold to the British as a slave. She spends weeks in the horrid dungeons of Cape Coast Castle before she passes through the door of no return and boards a slave ship for America.
The chapters come in pairs with one for a descendant of each sister through the generations on both sides of the Atlantic. The stories are filled with beautiful imagery and, a lot of the time, heartbreaking tragedy. Highly recommended for a though provoking and well-written read.
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