Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

The second title from the ‘Women’s Prize for Fiction’ was ‘Transcendent Kingdom’. This has been a great book for a buddy read because there are so many different opinions on this one.

It took me a while to reach any opinions about this book. When I started this novel, I found it hard to get in to – it took a lot of concentration to follow the narrative. However, as I got through the story, I found out more about Gifty, her family and her past. I can see why this book has been nominated for a prize as it is beautifully written and it tackles some tough issues. Especially in a family and community that are not entirely willing to talk about social issues – including addiction and mental health issues. Also, handling well the way our past and experience can influence our future and even challenge the ideas and beliefs that you may have formed about the world around you.

‘Transcendent Kingdom’ is a slow burn (that does seem to divide opinion) and I am still not entirely sure what I think – but I am certainly pleased that I read it. And I do think that maybe I should read ‘Homegoing’, as many people have recommended since.

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