“They were doers and thinkers and lovers and seekers and givers, but dreamers, most dangerously of all. They were dreamer-women. Very dangerous women. Who looked at the world through their wide dreamer-eyes and saw it not as it was, ‘brutal, senseless,’ etc., but worse, as it might be or might yet become.”–Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go
- Here’s what happens:
- Ghana Must Go is a fast-paced odyssey with the Sai family, as they are confronted with their absent patriarch’s unexpected death. His passing forces the four siblings and their mother Fola to reflect on the years spent with him and the more numerous years spent without him, in addition to journeying back to their homeland of Ghana for his funeral and to reunite after years of drifting (or fleeing) apart emotionally and physically.
- It’s good because:
- It’s written with choppy, all-over-the-place syntax that truly resembles he chaotic head-spin we find ourselves in following a loss. Selasi uses this quick-paced, colloquial language to establish complicated characters who you don’t quite understand at all times, but can’t help but root for. I love a story that has no real good guy or bad guy (just like most real life situations), and Selasi delivers this with her deeply flawed and introspective cast. I also enjoyed this book because, after spending a summer in Ghana a few years ago, reading about familiar Ghanaian elements like pounding yams, the crowded streets of Accra, or the sounds of Twi, made me just a little nostalgic for that wonderful chapter of my life, even if the characters had mixed feelings about the country.
- Read if:
- I don’t know if writers like being compared to other writers, but as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of my favorite authors of all time, I mean this as high praise. If you enjoyed Americanah and its multifaceted and fresh look at life through the eyes of a Nigerian immigrant, Ghana Must Go is definitely worth a read. Selasi pokes and prods at the American perception of African immigrants in a similarly poignant manner, while still weaving a beautifully complex story of family, and how it changes through distance, through difficulty, through development.
Up next: Australia with Lucy Christopher’s Stolen!