Ghana Must Go – Taiye Selasi

Published May 27, 2013 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

Kweku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of Kweku’s death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story. Electric, exhilarating, beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go is a testament to the transformative power of unconditional love, from a debut novelist of extraordinary talent.

Moving with great elegance through time and place, Ghana Must Go charts the Sais’ circuitous journey to one another. In the wake of Kweku’s death, his children gather in Ghana at their enigmatic mother’s new home. The eldest son and his wife; the mysterious, beautiful twins; the baby sister, now a young woman: each carries secrets of his own. What is revealed in their coming together is the story of how they came apart: the hearts broken, the lies told, the crimes committed in the name of love. Splintered, alone, each navigates his pain, believing that what has been lost can never be recovered—until, in Ghana, a new way forward, a new family, begins to emerge.

What did I think?:

This novel is the April read for the Waterstones Eleven debut authors, please see my previous post HERE. This book centres around the sudden and unexpected death of one man – a remarkable surgeon and father of four. As each of his children hear about his death, we learn how much of a failure he was as a father, and how much each child has been affected by their fathers abandonment. There is Olu, the first-born son, under a great deal of pressure from his parents to perform. He ends up following in his fathers footsteps by also becoming a surgeon, but who undergoes considerable emotional problems in his private life. The two twins, who were probably my favourite characters were very intriguing. Unable to cope with the marriage breakdown, their mother sends them to live with their uncle where a traumatic experience for both twins unfolds. I enjoyed the way this was continually hinted at in the novel, and how different the reactions of both twins were to their shared experience and their parents divorce.  Finally, the baby of the family, Sadie appears to have more of an issue with her mother than her father, and also harbours a secret.

The language in this book is rich and beautifully descriptive, and I found it slightly difficult at the beginning like a couple of other reviews of the book I have read. However, once getting used to the style, it became almost a treat to read. I cannot believe that this is a debut novel, the author writes like she has been writing for years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this book ended up a contender for the Man Booker prize this year. Although I probably wouldn’t read this book again, I’m glad I’ve read it once, even just to appreciate the author’s stunning way with words.

Would I recommend it?:


Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

2 comments on “Ghana Must Go – Taiye Selasi

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