▫️Transcendent Kingdom | Psychological Fiction
▫️Author: Yaa Gyasi @YaaGyasiAuthor
▫️My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
▫️Pub Date:July 2020
My first Gyasi and I already know she’s going to be an auto buy author for the rest of time because wow that woman knows how to craft a book.
We follow Gifty, a neuroscientist specialising in reward seeking behaviour as a way to grapple and understand her years watching her brother get lost to the hands of addiction. Science, not usually my bag, but it is woven in so effortlessly and beautifully to explore not just Gifty’s complex feelings surrounding addiction but also her relationship with religion. Raised by her Ghanaian mother in a devoutly Christian household she finds herself questioning a God who can bring so much cruelty but who also provides her such hope and solace.
Her relationship with her mother is at the core of the book as she finds her mother lost to the darkness of depression and the solitude of her bed. Gyasi perfectly depicts a bond of eternal love between mother and daughter interwoven with the friction, failings and flaws of simply being human that mean we cannot always feel and show that love as we want to. There is also a fascinating discussion surrounding the differing cultural approaches to mental health through both Gifty’s lived experiences and references to psychological studies, raising the question of how we perceive mental health issues may have an impact on how how we experience them. FASCINATING.
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface on the depth and beauty of this book but please experience it for yourself. This has snuck its way to my favourite Women’s Prize nominee and definitely a favourite of the year. My heart was broken and fixed over and over again. To say I am excited for Home Going would be an understatement.
TW: Addiction, substance abuse, self harm, suicide.
Reviewed by Megan Raynor