Kweku Sai, father, husband and doctor, awakes early one morning and wanders outside into his Ghanaian garden. As he gazes back at his house, he suffers a fatal heart attack and, during his last moments reflects on his life and a family fragmented. On hearing of his death, his children and first wife Folasade look back on what they were before and, thanks in part to Folasade's and Kweku's actions, what they've become.
A British-born writer and photographer of Nigerian/Ghanaian descent, Taiye Selasi has written about something close to home in this, her debut novel which also made the prestigious Waterstones 11 list for 2013. Like Kweku and Folasade, her parents both escaped conflict in Africa and, like Kweku, her father is a surgeon and, like her family, they're 'Afropolitans', a word that Taiye coined in an essay about the migration of intellectual Africans.
This novel is very much like looking through a family album that captures feelings alongside the moments in time. Indeed, as Kweku and his family look back across the generations and those who remain look forward, there are colourful cultures, personalities and moments laid out before us but most of all there's emotion.
We see events through each character's eyes as the narrative jumps, fully comprehensibly, back and forth in time. We begin with Kweko as he recounts his Ghanaian childhood, his happiness with Folasade and t ... Read Full Review