An award-winning book that is already making a place for itself on one librarian’s books of the year list…
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.
From a short book to an epic – my fourth Bailey’s Prize read was the massive tome Sport of Kings. 500+ pages set in and around a ranch in Kentucky which raises race horses. The book covers many themes including (but not limited to) racism, sexism, evolution, horse breeding and slavery. The prose is dense, rich and flowery. It is being billed as a modern American classic.
For me it felt a bit of a slog to get through. The basic story lines were all great and I wanted to know more about all of the characters but the language and the style just kept bogging me down and disappointingly the slow build was ruined by a too fast ending. I also just didn’t quite buy the main twist.
I admire this book without loving it, the racism and sexism alienated me and I never felt close to the characters – it was like they were all behind a pane of glass. I’m glad that the Bailey’s Prize introduced me to this book, I’d never have read it otherwise and there is much to admire.
The story is mainly told by Smitty, with emails from Abi to her brother interwoven into the story.
Brings in the topics of adoption, racism, & euthanasia. It really made me think about all three, putting myself in the characters position & thinking what I would do – not easy when you haven’t faced these things yourself.
Some of it is hard to read but you have to, I couldn’t put it down.
Super story on many levels, a must read.
Reserve That Girl From Nowhere