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Transcendent Kingdom (2020)

by Yaa Gyasi

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1,1536713,382 (4.05)126
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» See also 126 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
I loved this book. For me the mix of religion/ spirituality made it not only and immigrant and trauma story, but a profound self contemplation. I want to reread it at some point. ( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
I said Homegoing was a master class in building 3-dimensional characters using only one chapter. Transcendent Kingdom? Is the masterclass in non-linear chronological storytelling. Yaa Gyasi weaves this story around different points in Gifty's life with such ease that you never find yourself confused and it's all very intuitive and seamless and suddenly you find yourself wondering: Why does ANYONE tell stories chronologically?

So much of Gifty's story resonated with me, from her changing relationship with God and religion to being a caregiver to a parent with whom she has a complicated relationship. But then parts of which I'm not personally familiar...I even felt those in the depths of my heart because her writing brings you so beautifully into the life of the characters that you feel as those you are living their pain with them.

The end. ( )
  KimZoot | Jan 2, 2022 |
Moving novel that compactly explores many huge ideas defined within the intimate and tragic story of a Ghanaian immigrant family. Intense love and attachment, deep loss and mourning, the preplexing and yet powerful pull of religion, the intermixture of rational science and subjective emotion - all of that is in this story and more. Gifty, the main character, is enormously compelling and sympathetic. I know I will seek out this author's earlier novel, and look forward to others she will write. ( )
  Octavia78 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Gifty, PhD candidate for neuroscience at Stanford tries to balance her life with science at work and religion from home Her brother Issac died from an overdose while her church-going mother tried to make sense of it. The book put me in a spiritual zone thinking about her family and why things happened the way they did. So many words I read were a reflection from my mother who always had a Bible beside her bed when she was alive. While science gives us facts, sometimes we just need to feel the love from a greater force. ( )
  Jacsun | Oct 5, 2021 |
This is about Gifty, a woman whose family immigrated to Alabama from Ghana. The book handles a lot of themes and issues: Gifty is a scientist, so there are scenes about women of color in academia. She was raised as an Evangelical Christian, but lost her faith when her brother died of an opioid addiction and the church community provided little support to Gifty and her mother, who went into severe depression. The book addresses racism, religion, addition, faith, and mental illness. Those are a lot of issues to cram into a fairly short book, and I think Gyasi might have been trying to tackle too much, because the book seems to lack a coherent message, and the end feels very abrupt.

The writing is very good, and there is a lot to think about in this book - it would be good for a book club because there's a lot to discuss. I appreciated Gyasi's nuanced handling of religion - so many people think that religion and science are diametrically opposed, but Gifty finds a middle ground between them, and understands the important role religion can play in people's lives. ( )
  Gwendydd | Oct 1, 2021 |
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Whenever I think of my mother, I picture a queen-sized bed with her lying in it, a practiced stillness filling the room.
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Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.

Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief—a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.
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