Archive for June, 2015

Kweku Sai, genius surgeon has died of a heart attack and his estranged family (children and ex-wife)  is flying to Ghana to bury him.


Nope there is nothing more. That is the story in Ghana Must Go.

If you are looking for a drama or suspense-packed novel with bad guys and good guys and the good guys winning in the end then this is not the book for you. In Ghana must go there are no protagonists. There are simply humans; fragile, flawed, searching, and hoping to heal.

With no drama and little suspense, the book is however a page turner. The characters in “Ghana must Go” make the strength of this novel and Ms Selasi’s writing style; phrases that are short, concise yet full of emotion, transform it into a beautiful work of art.

As the each member of the family faces the demons of their past, they learn to overcome their fears and ultimately make peace with each other. In these flashbacks, Ghana must Go explores and beautifully develops the theme of Shame.

Again, Ms Selasi’s wrting is epic. I am still excited by the book. let me share with you a few of my favorite phrases.

On their father’s absence Taiwo thinks:

“Not dead. Never dead. They never wished the man dead or pretended he was dead. Just deleted, walled off. Denied existence, present only in absence and silence. Reduced to a notion.”

Of his wife and daughters the late kweku thinks:

They were dreamer women. Very dangerous women. The thoughts of dreamers were landmines, free radicals. With them a breakfast chat could delve into war.”

I think most men will feel what Kweku feels when he says:

“He has come to understand his basic relationship to women, the very crux of it, the need to finally be sufficient. To know he’s enough, once and for all, now and forever.”

As a mother I cried along with a hurt/ grieving Fola who says:

“ It is useless to love with such force, for the force does not travel, does not keep tHem, protect them, doesn’t go where they go, doesn’t act as a shield.. but yet how to love otherwise?”

I fell in love with Sadie. Last born, sickly child, chubby young woman. I understand what it means to not know what you are good at, to not know what is your talent. I understand what it is to live in the shadow of a strikingly beautiful sister and multi talented siblings.

And ultimately you come to realize:

that home is where there is no shame.”

This book is on my reread list. I loved reading Ghana Must Go. I did not get to read it like I should have, like I wanted to: in long stretches. I need to clear out one of my Sundays for it but first let me find out what Binyavanga Wainaina  writes about Kenya.

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