Book Review: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom

by Yaa Gyasi

🐭🐭🐭🐭🐭 (five stars, as rated in lab mice)

At the outset, I worried that I would not enjoy this book. And even a good third of the way in, I wouldn’t have said that I was terribly invested in it. But Bahni Turpin’s narration was reliably persuasive, and thank goodness for that because, ultimately, the pay-off was worth every ounce of that slow burn.
This story takes place in two timelines; past and present, with very little distinction made as we are thrust between the two. The skill with which Gyasi pulls this off is absolutely incredible. We are brought from one to the other in a way that is so indisputably intentional, yet feels almost effortless. Let me tell you though, my emotions took a dang beating. I feel exhausted by what I just listened to and, honestly, I’m saddest that with this being a new release, I’ll have to wait another year at least before she can put me through it again.
If there was any doubt before, this book has established Yaa Gyasi as one of my favorites. I genuinely can’t believe how much I enjoyed this sensational book.

Content warnings for this book: absent parent, memory loss, death of an animal, animal testing, bullying, depression, hospitalization, death of a sibling, mental illness, pills, addiction, racism

[Image Description: Sarah’s arm is seen reaching into the frame from the left and gripping the book, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi in the middle of the shot. The cover of the book is cut at the middle in a slightly diagonal line, so that the top half of the book is pink and the bottom is black, with gold lettering. There is a graphic of a young Black girl in a white tank top who is praying in the very center of the book. Her hair is in a bun on top of her head. Around the book there are swipes of golden paint accentuating the frame of the photo. Only Sarah’s arm can be seen and she is wearing a white sweater.]

Thanks for reading, friends! What are you currently enjoying?



Published by girlonbooks

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

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