Transcendent Kingdom

Thoughts by Yaa Gyasi, 2020, 8 hours 40 minutes

Challenge: TOB Short List
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: Audiobook, Audible
 Why I read this now:  It was next up in the queue.

MOTIVATION for READING: I enjoyed Gyasi’s debut and this one is getting great reviews. Plus, you know, the T. O. B.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Gifty is a scientist, a daughter of immigrants from Ghana, reflecting on her childhood as the little sister to a brother who died of a heroine overdose, her religious upbringing and how her mother suffers from mental illness, while conducting research on addiction so she can understand her own pain.

THOUGHTS:  This was a time/place of being in Gifty’s head as she explains and sorts through her thoughts and reactions and movement through many years, many relationships. Lots of religion and philosophy, but mostly religion and God and understanding and reconciling faith with science, science versus faith. It was really quite beautiful. NOT pushy at all. I think this could be a valuable reference for any religious study.

I liked Gifty. She was so well presented and fleshed out – her wants, needs, goals, dreams. Was there even a plot?

RATING:  Four slices of pie.   Apple pie mention and a bit about a friend who offers baked goods, including pie. YAY!

Quote lifted from a review in The Dartmouth, America’s Oldest College Newspaper:

Grappling with Gifty’s experiences growing up “sticking out like a sore thumb” in her predominantly-white town and “as Ghanaian as apple pie,” the novel is both accessible and urgent. 




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12 thoughts on “Transcendent Kingdom

  1. I liked her other book enough but wasn’t in love with it. For that reason I am holding off for now on this one. I have a feeling my book club will select it though. If so, I shall be reading it sooner rather than later.

    1. This could be hit or miss for a book club. I guess that is always true! Could be science vs religion and that can often be “interesting”.

  2. I loved this book so much! I’m pinning a lot of my TOB hopes on it because I suspect my actual favorite (Piranesi) will not fare well. But I can see this doing well.

    1. I am a third into Memorial and I’m finding it B O R I N G. I don’t get the appeal. I will read Vanishing Half and THEN Piranesi. I actually bought quite a few of the contenders so not sure which audiobook to do after Memorial! I love your thoughts on all things TOB!

  3. I read Homegoing when I was in Africa a few years ago! I will read this one eventually but it does seem pretty different to her debut!

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