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Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
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Ghana Must Go

by Taiye Selasi

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4982729,447 (3.8)64
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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3040462.html

I see a lot of "meh" reviews of this book online, but actually I rather liked it; it's the story of a family patriarch, who dies in the first chapter, and his two wives and four children in Ghana, Nigeria and the USA, with some fairly grim family secrets coming to the surface as the relatives gather for the funeral in a series of extended flashbacks. I felt it said interesting things about migration, culture and families in a vivid and lyrical way. ( )
  nwhyte | Aug 20, 2018 |
I was surprised that my Around the World for a Good Book selection for Ghana turns out to have a good portion of the narrative set close to home in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Selasi's novel is a story of immigration, family, the long term ramifications of choices made, and an attempt to peer beyond the stereotypes of Africa and Africans.

The novel is set around the family of Kweku Sai, long isolated from one another, coming together in Ghana for his funeral. Kweku immigrated to America where he became a celebrated surgeon, but after being unjustly fired, the great shame causes him to leave his family and return to Ghana. His wife Fola was a law student who gave up her career to support Kweku, and faces difficult choices when forced to raise 4 children on her own. The eldest son Olu follows his father into medicine, but his father's abandonment leaves him fearful of commitment. The sister-brother twins Taiwo and Kehinde bear the scars of being sent to live with Fola's brother in Nigeria after Kweku's departure and the sexual abuse they suffered there. The youngest child Sadie didn't know her father at all and until shortly before the main narrative begins had been very close with her mother. All of their stories are told in extended flashbacks intertwined with the present day story.

This is a heartbreaking and harrowing novel and should come with a big trigger warning. It unfortunately tends toward the melodramatic although there is honesty in the family dynamics portrayed. Thankfully, this is also a story of redemption and healing, although it is still hard to not feel unsettled after reading. ( )
1 vote Othemts | Mar 12, 2018 |
DNF -- stopped reading at page 100. wrong time for my brain to deal with this story of death and broken families. the writing is fine, but the storytelling is fractured, adding to the challenge for me of reading this novel at this particular time. ( )
  Booktrovert | Feb 12, 2018 |
The first chapter had so much promise. And then the book took a steep dive downhill from there, which is such a shame. Death of patriarch Kweku Sai brings back the family that he abandoned in the US, and we travel back and forth between the past and the present as we see what brought the family to where they are after Sai's death.
 
I've had this book for awhile but decided to finally get it out of my "to read pile" and in the "read" pile. I'm not sure what brought me to it now that I've finished it. The first chapter that describes the death of the father was intriguing. But then the author needlessly and (in my opinion) atrociously drags it out, as well as flipping back and forth through time for his ex-wife and their children.
 
But other than the lovely descriptions and some great use of language, overall the story was terrible. I didn't care about this family saga. Many, if not most of the characters are two-dimensional. There is a scene of child sexual abuse towards the very end that I'm not sure added anything deeper to the story. It is descriptive if you want to avoid that.
 
I've read reviews that have indicated that the book is possibly autobiographical, at least partially. If so I applaud the author for surviving (even if she was not the target of abuse) and managing to find her way to write this book. But some stories really aren't meant to be told in a form like this. I'm certainly not saying she shouldn't have written about it, but in all honesty I found the book to be a total mess.
 
Don't recommend it. Library if you're really curious. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
The only thing I would save from this novel is the writing style, maybe ideal for something else. But simply I could not get into the plot at all beyond the first pages and some random tales between tons of endless boring pages. ( )
  Mlvtrglvn | Jan 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Not sunflowers, not

roses, but rocks in patterned

  sand grow here. And bloom.

-----------Robert Hayden

-----------"Approximations"
A word forgot to remember

what to forget

and every so often

let the truth slip

---------------Renee C Neblett,

---------------"Snapshots"
Dedication
for Juliette Modupe Tuakli, M.D.
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Kweku dies barefoot on a Sunday before sunrise, his slipper by the doorway to the bedroom like dogs.
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"Kweku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of Kweku's death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before"--Dust jacket flap.… (more)

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