by Yaa Gyasi
As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two - and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.
Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother's life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family's story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.
'I would say that Transcendent Kingdom is a novel for our time (and it is) but it is so much more than that. It is a novel for all times. The splendor and heart and insight and brilliance contained in the pages holds up a light the rest of us can follow' Ann Patchett
'Absolutely transcendent. A gorgeously woven narrative . . . not a word or idea out of place. THE RANGE. I am quite angry this is so good' Roxane Gay
'A stirringly gifted writer' New York Times
Average rating: 4
from 1 review
0 five star reviews
1 four star review
0 three star reviews
0 two star reviews
0 one star reviews
anonymous reviewed on 31 Aug 2021
Gifty's world shrinks from 4 people to 2. Her father returns to Ghana, worn out by life in America and they learn that every time he says he will be back 'soon'- it only means he would rather stay and thrive in Ghana not America. Her brother, Nana, dies of a drug overdoses in his teens and his death is the final straw that renders her mother what Gifty calls a 'wasteland.' Gifty goes to Science to overcome her anxiety, fear and most of all find a cure that could save someone like her brother. There is a phrase that appears twice in this book more towards the sentence 'I went quiet and my mother went insane.' What is certain is that this book is not warm, it is not the kind that you expect to laugh about rather, it immerses you in the grief that comes with seeing loved ones suffer mental illness, in understanding addiction and searching for answers when it seems like none are forthcoming or satisfying.