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Zaynab Quadri

‘Ghana Must Go’ is an immigrant story that follows a fragmented family from the shores of Nigeria, to America and Ghana. The impact of death, lies and secrets unveil the details within the plot. It was definitely an interesting read, considering the widely captivating themes examined.

This book once again brought to the fore, the importance of fathers in our society. When Kweku Sai decided to leave his family because of his fall from professional grace, he did not consider the implications of his decision on his wife, on his children and even on himself.

If he had not left, perhaps the twins – Taiye and Kehinde – would never have lost their innocence, they would never have witnessed so much sadness and bitterness in their lives.

These go a long way to show that the physical and/or emotional absence of a father is a one of the major causes of a broken society. Removing or neutralising the role of fathers is a major strategy to destabilise society.

The major relevance of his departure is not entirely groundbreaking till his final departure that gathers the entire family in his native land. Betrayals, flashback and revelations spanning London, New York and Africa swirl through the story giving life to each character’s vantage point.

Another theme also examined by this book is the issue of inter tribal, or should I say inter country marriage. The children n ... Read Full Review

‘Ghana Must Go’ is an immigrant story that follows a fragmented family from the shores of Nigeria, to America and Ghana. The impact of death, lies and secrets unveil the details within the plot. It was definitely an interesting read, considering the widely captivating themes examined. This book once again brought to the fore, the importance of fathers in our society. When Kweku Sai decided to leave his family because of his fall from professional grace, he did not consider the implications of his decision on his wife, on his children and even on himself. If he had not left, perhaps the twins – Taiye and Kehinde – would never have lost their innocence, they would never have witnessed so much sadness and bitterness in their lives. These go a long way to show that the physical and/or emotional absence of a father is a one of the major causes of a broken society. Removing or neutralising the role of fathers is a major strategy to destabilise society. The major relevance of his departure is not entirely groundbreaking till his final departure that gathers the entire family in his native land. Betrayals, flashback and revelations spanning London, New York and Africa swirl through the story giving life to each character’s vantage point. Another theme also examined by this book is the issue of inter tribal, or should I say inter country marriage. The children never felt like they belonged anywhere because their father, Kweku Sai, was Ghanaian and their mother, Folasade, was Nigerian. The overwhelming difference of two seemingly close cultures posed more identity threat than any reader would have imagined. To be honest, I lost interest in the book at the beginning due to Taiye Selasi’s tendency to overwrite. Her descriptions of cities, lifestyle and comparison of situations with eggs, sunlight and art felt a bit dragged and lost. Notwithstanding, it was an enlightening read. The plot definitely shed light on how family structures, relationships and orientations could greatly influence our capacity to accept ourselves and even love another. The reminiscent title points to the historic ejection of Ghanaians from Lagos in 1983, which plays to the fact that the book is first an immigrant story before anything else. Being a debut novel by Taiye Selasi, I am definitely eager to see more of her work.

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