In the castle on the Cape Coast, one sister lives upstairs, the wife to a British husband/slaver while her very own sister is in the dungeons below. They don't know each other really, so while one part of the family stays in Ghana to thrive, the other part of the family is sold into slavery and sent to America with all the horrors that entails.
I've waited over a month to write anything about this story. It deeply affected me. It was somehow bigger than the book. The whole thing is complicated, and I'd have to write another dissertation to come anywhere close to the myriad thoughts spurred by every chapter and character in Yaa Gyasi's epic narrative.
She starts generations ago and walks us to present day, every chapter introducing us to a new character who is part of the family that started in Ghana. Every chapter shows new ways that slavery has an impact, and it complicates the story of white slaver/black slave. However, Gyasi never preaches and never shames her readers or characters.
It's an impressive book, especially for a debut. But more than impressive, it's affecting, troubling, heartbreaking, beautiful, engrossing, and quite a compelling read. Highly recommended.