My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was no Homegoing 😅 but I still enjoyed it all the same.
The main reason Transcendent Kingdom gets 3 stars from me, unlike Homegoing which I gave 4 stars, is the heavy focus on religion in this book. The book spends a lot of time quoting the Bible or referencing the Scripture, and since I am not a religious person I found that aspect of the book to be quite tedious. I did appreciate though how the author used religion and upbringing to show how and why Gifty is the way she is i.e. little to no friends, hellbent (pun intended) on suffering alone, hyper focused on being good, late bloomer on matters pertaining to sexuality etc. I didn’t particularly like Gifty, but I understood where she was coming from.
Religion, addiction and depression are three of the main themes of this book, and there were moments Yaa Gyasi had me close to tears when writing about addiction and depression. One revelation in particular made me gasp so loudly when reading at a restaurant that someone sitting two tables away turned to look at me 😅
If Transcendent Kingdom had focused more on addiction, depression and race (another main theme) and less on religion, this would have been at least a 4 star read for me. Instead the book is told from Gifty’s perspective, but with so much happening to her mother and brother, they deserved to have their story really told.
View all my reviews
** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing