“You are not your mother’s first daughter. There was one before you. And in my village, we have a saying about separated sisters. They are like a woman and her reflection, doomed to stay on the opposite side of the pond. Two half-sisters born in Ghana, Effia married off at fifteen to a white slave trader and Esi captured and sold off to America at the same age. This is the only common thread that remains between them before we witness seven generations of each sister over the span of three centuries. Each chapter is a story of one generation, so you feel you are reading multiple short stories, all of them are affected by the choices made by the previous generations. The book touches several topics like the brutality of African Slave trade the effects of the British Colonization and internal warfare. The South, slavery and then quasi freedom.
The writing style is crisp, simple and beautiful. There are so many paragraphs which you would keep rereading because they held so much depth and meaning. Several touching, inspiring, dazzling moments have been captured so well in just three hundred pages. One such scene from the book, where a professor is telling his students “We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history you must ask yourself, whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so this voice could come forth?” Once you have figured that out, you must find that story, too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.” I couldn’t help but keep pondering over this. Definitely, the author did keep complete justice to those unheard voices in this book.
As I got deeper into the book, a constant thought which came to me was how one important decision of ours can have effects on many generations after. Our life choices do not extend to our children or grandchildren it goes on to many lives yet to be born. A story of one family, three continents, seven generations and through them we glimpse how history has shaped all of us.
A remarkable, soulstirring read with sublime aftereffects.
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