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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short sentences forming beautiful images
Selasi has developed her own style of writing - short sentences, many of which are incomplete on their own, like brushstrokes. It means you have to read quite fast so that you can see the picture they are painting. In the beginning I found it quite patronising, and as I was reading slowly at the time I found it hard to feel engaged. After about a third the story picks up...
Published 13 months ago by Dizzydays

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but quite hard going
This novel was chosen by my book group, and I was quite intrigued to be introduced to a new writer. The start of the story is original, introducing us to the characters and situation through the internal dialogue of someone whose fate we already know from the first line. The rest of the book presents the disturbing story of this rootless exiled African family through the...
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short sentences forming beautiful images, 9 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Hardcover)
Selasi has developed her own style of writing - short sentences, many of which are incomplete on their own, like brushstrokes. It means you have to read quite fast so that you can see the picture they are painting. In the beginning I found it quite patronising, and as I was reading slowly at the time I found it hard to feel engaged. After about a third the story picks up and I began to read faster and suddenly all of the staccato sentences began to form beautiful images and ideas. Which is fitting as Selasi appears to be very concerned about looks - she spends a lot of time talking about how beautiful the characters are - or how not beautiful other characters are/feel. There are lots of emotions, pretty descriptions and at the heart of it an intriguing and touching story. At times it felt a little staged at other times it was really astute. I loved the scene where Olu goes back to Ghana to meet his father who he has built up in his head so much, only to find an ordinary looking man in the throng of people at the arrival gates - no longer sticking out for his blue-black skin as he had done in America.

Overall I have just come out of a long phase of not reading and this book helped to bring me out. I think there is much to enjoy in this book and recommend it highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but quite hard going, 10 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Kindle Edition)
This novel was chosen by my book group, and I was quite intrigued to be introduced to a new writer. The start of the story is original, introducing us to the characters and situation through the internal dialogue of someone whose fate we already know from the first line. The rest of the book presents the disturbing story of this rootless exiled African family through the points of view of the mother and the four children. These multiple points of view were the source of my confusion as I worked my way through. Maybe it was me, but at times I lost track of where we were, when the narrative was happening (it moves forward and back in time as much is based on the memories of characters, how they experienced key events), and even who we were. The author writes in an original style. Lots of sentences without verbs. Quite a few cliches popping up in the story. But overall a worthwhile read about family, love, loss and coming to terms.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving and lyrical family drama, 7 Jan 2014
By 
Amanda Jenkinson "MandyJ" (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Paperback)
This intense and powerful family drama tells of the Sai family, half Nigerian, half Ghanaian, whose lives fall apart when the father Kweku, a respected surgeon in the US, is accused of malpractice and abandons his family. The repercussions of this reverberate through the years and tear the family apart. When news of his death reaches his wife and four children, they come together to re-establish the links between them, to look back at and try to make sense of what has happened to them and to attempt, if possible, to piece the family back together.
Original and beautifully crafted, I found this a moving and haunting novel of family love, with acute psychological insight and observation. The writing is lyrical and poetic, and in fact often reads like poetry with its rhythms and language. I found myself reading some of the passages out loud as if it were indeed a work of poetry not prose. Perhaps sometime the writing does become a little over-blown, and some of the images and descriptions seem to strive too much for effect, with echoes of Toni Morrison's more purple passages, but overall this is a very minor quibble. I was completely caught up in the characters, all of whom I found credible and sympathetic, and the sense of place in both the US and especially in Africa was both atmospheric and vividly drawn. Immigration and what it means to be African both in Africa and in the diaspora is sensitively and compellingly portrayed. It's an absorbing and haunting novel and one which I very much enjoyed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written - but does the plot add up?, 18 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Hardcover)
I very much enjoyed the opening section of the book describing simply, memorably, and indeed perhaps unforgettably, the death of Kweko, how it comes about, how it could have been avoided, what his reflections are on his life in the present, in Ghana, and the layout of his house and garden and the story of its construction, and so on.

Then the rest of the book goes in, much more, to his back story, the various traumatic episodes that have created a dysfunctional (but not terminally dysfunctional) family, and the aftermath of Kweko's death as his first wife and his four children come together in Ghana to mourn his death.

At that point I started to feel I did not really believe people mostly behave as they do in this plot; and that anyway what a family it is to have such extremely brilliant children one and all, to have such a brilliant father, to have dizygotic girl and boy twins who have the exceptional bonds that are sometimes thought to exist for monozygotic twins, and so on...At the end of the book Kweko's first wife ponders why she and Kweko have behaved as they did. It clearly has something to do, she thinks, with 'Ghana must go', a scheme that led to the expulsion of Ghanaians from Nigeria...not really an explanation I found very convincing.

So I had very mixed feelings about this, torn between its beauty and its observation on the one hand, and its rather unsatisfying underlying narrative plot, on the other....Others may - and many clearly do - feel very differently about this..
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive Reading!, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Hardcover)
A beautifully written novel that so vividly captures the orchestrated complexity of human relationships. I have laughed and cried with the Sai family and now, at the book's end, feel I've finished a long conversation with a dear friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The unravelling of a family, 11 Feb 2014
This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Paperback)
Occasionally there are books that completely absorb me, like being parched thirsty and plunging into a deep well. Ghana Must Go is one such book. Captivating, dazzling and utterly heart wrenching, it chronicles the unravelling of a Nigerian-Ghanaian family living in the United States.

A shameful yet frustratingly surmountable event compels the father, Kweku Sai, to brusquely leave his gorgeous wife Fola and their four little boys and girls, causing them to fracture and spiral out into the world – New York, London, West Africa – on uncertain and troubled journeys. We see them grow up and forge their own paths in life, fiercely licking the wounds of their difficult adolescence, only to be reunited around their mother when they finally need each other most.

Taiye Selasi writes beautifully, disguising poetry as prose, often cloaking her words in delicious rhythms that tick through your head as you read. She paints a powerful picture of a broken family, disturbing in parts, examining the astonishing resilience and fragility of human beings and relationships, and peeling back the layers of each character to the extent that you long to reach out and hold them.

Reminiscent of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Jhumpa Lahiri (two of my favourite authors), but with greater warmth and depth, Ghana Must Go explores how it is to live across cultures, touching on themes and evoking emotions that resonate with us all.

Short sentences and quick-fire dialogues are interspersed with lilting descriptions, and observations so perceptive that they make you catch your breath. A stunning passage on seeing beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty made me pause to reread and reflect, a thought-provoking surprise within the narrative.

All in all Ghana Must Go is an unforgettable, powerful and affecting novel. It totally blew me away… don’t miss out on this daring and mesmerising tour-de-force!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a book…, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Kindle Edition)
Taiye writes beautifully as she draws you into the lives and minds of the Sai family. This work of fiction felt so real and I could relate to certain aspects of the book, thinking of my own experiences living in the diaspora. Taiye’s style of writing is refreshingly different and it took me a while to get my head around it, but once she drew me in, it was hard to put the book down until I finished it. I strongly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't grip me, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy books which give insight into other cultures and this one which looked back over the life of a Ghanain doctor who moved to the USA sounded promising. The story was interesting but to me the characters didn't really come to life and it was hard to believe in or quite understand their actions. At times it seemed to drift along and my interest was lost.It was almost a really good book but not quite. However I think the author has the ability to write well and I would read her next book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating read, 9 May 2013
This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Paperback)
I couldn't put this book down- one of the best books I've read.
It's primarily a story about a family who have become disconnected from each other and their individual and collective identities in the world ( Ghana , US, immigrant, lover) and also between each other to an extent.

I loved Taiye's poetic prose- there were lines which were so beautiful to read. I enjoyed getting into the minds of the characters and discovering the different relationships within the family. I thought the pace of the story was perfect and covered characters back storys without being overly lengthy.

Usually it's a struggle for me to find books which are modern, thought provoking and entertaining. Lucky for me this is one such book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 29 April 2013
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This review is from: Ghana Must Go (Hardcover)
i was keen to read a copy of this book as has read a lot of press reviews and author interviews before publication. it was a slow start and i have to say that at times i was tempted to leave the book and not finish it. Bu am glad that i persevered as the story does pick up about a third of the way through the book and as all the characters started coming together in the book, made for a much more interested book to read.
So i would say if you have been reading the various press reviews/seen the author being interviewed and are intrigues by the reviews - give it a go. you will be pleasantly surprised.
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Ghana Must Go
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Paperback - 2 Jan 2014)
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