cover image Ghana Must Go

Ghana Must Go

Taiye Selasi. The Penguin Press, $25.95 (336p) ISBN : 978-1-59420-449-4

Selasi’s gorgeous debut is a thoughtful look at how the sacrifices we make for our family can be its very undoing. After arriving in America from Ghana, a promising but penniless young man, Kweku Sai, becomes a famed surgeon living in Boston with his wife, Fola, and children, proof of the American dream. Years later, now 57 and married to another woman, Kweku, back in Ghana, is dying in the garden of his home in Accra. After his death, Fola and their four grown children gather in Ghana for the funeral of the man who abandoned them 16 years ago. This emotional reunion reveals to what extent Kweku fractured his beloved family by leaving them. The twins, Taiwo and Kehinde, once inseparable, have not spoken in 18 months; wounded by something neither will disclose, their bond has been eroded by anguish. Olu, the eldest, emulates his father in business but wants his marriage to be “something better than” the family he knows. And the youngest, Sadie, feels inadequate in the shadow of her successful siblings. Reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri but with even greater warmth and vibrancy, Selasi’s novel, driven by her eloquent prose, tells the powerful story of a family discovering that what once held them together could make them whole again. Agent: The Wylie Agency. (Mar.)