Transcendent Kingdom: A novel
by Gyasi Yaa
Hardcover- $20.57


Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a ...

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/26/20

  "Although not as good as " by thewanderingjew (see profile) 11/16/20

Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi, Bonnie Turpin, narrator
The book is written almost as if it is a real memoir, and at times, it is hard to believe that the main character, Gifty, has been created by the author. This brilliant young woman, who studied molecular science, tells her story, to the reader, but unfortunately, it sometimes feels like too long a monologue. Gifty is experimenting with mice. She wants desperately to find a cure for addiction. The reader learns of her childhood and witnesses her painful journey to maturity and contentment. At first, she failed to appreciate what she had in life, apart and aside from her family, to whom she was devoted. As she loses her brother to drug addiction, her mother to mental illness, her father to another woman, her mice to her experiments, she seems consumed with grief. The book seems overly preoccupied with loss, until the very end.
Gifty’s parents were from Ghana, where her brother Nana was born. They moved to Alabama where Gifty was born. Gifty is black in a white world, but doesn’t want to be identified that way. She wants to be recognized as a woman who is successful, not as a woman of color who is successful. She challenges herself to the fullest to prove her qualifications. Identity politics is not her thing, and I agree with her philosophy. Color does not determine our ability to succeed or how we feel. It only determines what we see, visually, at first, not our prospects or our character.
This novel deals with racism, mental illness, religion and addiction. It also lightly brushes superstition and politics. I found it really hard to get into the book and to stay interested, so to say I was disappointed, would be putting it mildly. It is a good book though, which highlights the mundane activities of Gifty’s daily life, interspersed with her traumas, but it is not what I expected. The use of her mother’s language from Ghana was often difficult to understand in the audio version of the book, since the words were unknown to me and unrecognizable. However, the narrator did a very good job of interpreting the characters with their accents and personalities, using an appropriate tone and emphasis for each. Although I did not enjoy this book as much as “Homegoing” which I presented to my book group, there are many subjects introduced in this novel that would make for a good discussion. discussion.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/03/21

I loved how Gifty used the experiences of her brother and mother to choose her area of scientific research. What I most enjoyed reading was her struggle to make sense of her personal experiences, her religious upbringing, and her scientific findings.

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