Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ghana Must Go

Ghana Must GoGhana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Kweku dies barefoot on a Sunday before sunrise, his slippers by the doorway to the bedroom like dogs." The first line of the novel. Kweku Sai, a Ghanaian physician educated in the US, father of four children born in the US, dies of a heart attack in Ghana, leaving his slippers so as not to disturb his second wife.

And so it begins with the ending, a circuitous tale telling of the medical career of Kweku, the growing of his family with his beautiful wife, Fola, and the raising of their children in Boston. Until it all falls apart. Kweku leaves his family. Fola does what she can to provide the best education for her children, all brilliant young minds. But somehow the parenting gets lost in the fracture of the family.

When they learn of Kweku's death(after puzzling how a surgeon could not have saved himself before the final beat of his heart, and how could he leave his slippers behind, in an intentionally long parenthetical expression) the family comes back together revealing years of secrets in attempt to heal their relationships.

I puzzled over the title until "Ghana Must Go" was explained on page 237 as the expulsion of two million Ghanaians from Nigeria in 1983. Click here

I loved this book. It took me a few pages to get into the rhythm of the stream of consciousness, and then it all clicked. I was reading into the night, worrying about those beautiful "shiny" twins, Kehinde and Taiwo, the brilliant surgeon Olu, and baby Sadie who does not know her beauty.

I hate having to take it back to the library. I may even have to buy the book for myself.

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1 comment:

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

My dad recommended this book to me. He seems to think Selasi is going to be a great writer. I'll read it but it's not high on my priority list at the moment