Sunday 6 July 2014

Ghana Must Go

Finished July 6
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

This first novel is mesmerizing, and I found it hard to put down. Kweku Sai has died suddenly in his home in Accra, Ghana. Unbeknownst to him, his ex-wife Fola is also living in Accra. With his death his four children come to join their mother in Accra and as they do reveal the stories of his leaving them and the family fallout from that leaving.
This is a story of love, of betrayal, of belonging and not belonging.
The oldest son Olu has become a doctor like his father, a surgeon, and has married Ling, also a doctor. But he has struggles with love and belonging, never feeling good enough.
The twins Taiwo and Kehinde have always been close, but grew apart as they got older. Each has struggled with their otherness, and with the terrible experience they went through together shortly after their father's death. This experience has not only come between them, but also has separated them from those around them.
The youngest Sadie is the most physically like their father and she does not see her own beauty, but only her otherness. She is not who she wants to be. It will take this visit to Ghana and the death of her father to bring her the insight to see who she is and come to terms with it.
Fola herself has her own history of leavings, a history beginning with her mother, followed by her father. She is a confident woman, but the leavings are a weakness and she has not coped well with Kweku's abandonment of his family.
So this is a story of loss, but also of discovery. A story of endings, but also new beginnings. A story that will tug on your heart and make you think about the way we think of ourselves and the relationships we have. About how vulnerability is difficult, but how allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can also bring us love.
Highly recommended.

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