Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

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This book is still available on NetGalley as of this posting

This book was first published last year and since has featured in many prominent lists. I got an advance copy thanks to NetGalley and the UK publishers of the version released this year. All this hype did not exactly affect my reading but did have me setting my expectations at an all-time high.
The writing was very interesting. For one thing, the words used and the images thrown up were quite simple, while at the same time emotionally complex. I did not do much research about the storyline and so found the discussion of the lead protagonists faith unexpected. This usually throws me off a book, but not in this case. Gifty (and maybe the author) know what they get from how they understand and practice their faith. It is shown parallelly to the life she leads, and although they do not seem compatible on the surface, the endurance is contemplated. I am spending so long on this aspect because I felt like it was the focal point of the entire narrative, with the concept of addiction being a close second.
Gifty is the daughter of immigrants, and her mother has gone back into depression. She works in a lab and is highly educated but with her mother’s state of mind being the way it is, has Gifty thinking back about her past. A lot is tackled here in pieces, with time moving back and forth, which worked only half the time for me. I felt moved by all the trials that the family underwent and just felt like the last bit was a little rushed. This is probably the only reason I did not give it a full five stars.
I know that the author’s writing style and imagery were very vivid, and I would probably love to read another book by her.

3 thoughts on “Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi”

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