Transcendent Kingdom [Book Review] #ThrowbackThursday #LiteraryFiction

Welcome to #ThrowBackThursday where I highlight an older review or post a current review of a back list title. Today, I’m resharing a poignant and compelling work of literary fiction, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (author of Homegoing).

I’m linking up with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #ThrowbackThursday.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (cover) Image: gold text over a light pink (top) and black (bottom) background

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Faith and Science, Drug Addiction, Ghana-American, Immigrant, Stanford Medical School, Alabama

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Are you a Yaa Gyasi fan? While Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is the multi-generational big picture of a family over three hundred years, Transcendent Kingdom is a microscopic look at one Ghanaian family in Alabama. Their son, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died from a heroin overdose as a result of addiction to pain meds after an accident. Dad returns to Ghana and Mom becomes severely depressed. The beginning of the story finds the daughter, Gifty, at Standford Medical School studying depression and addiction as she desperately hopes to find answers that will help others in similar situations. At the same time Gifty studies the hard sciences she also questions her faith and the religious experiences of her childhood. This is a heartfelt and honestly-told story of immigration, faith, science, questions, and family devotion.

Compelling themes include racism/prejudice, addiction, faith and science, and grief/depression (trigger warnings for loss of a child), and it reads like a memoir with its thought-provoking reflections.

Continue here for my full review of Transcendent Kingdom…


Is this memorable book on your TBR or have you read it?
***Note: It’s highly discussable for book clubs (especially the degree to which children shoulder the weight of family drama). However, consider possible trigger warnings.
Have you read Homegoing by the same author?


  1. I enjoyed parts of Homegoing though felt each section was a bit rushed and I would have liked to have spent more time with each generation. But I enjoyed it enough to want to read more by her so of course I have this new book on my list. But have yet to read it..

    • The questioning and tension between faith and science was so well done I think! I especially loved the ending as she sat quietly in church.

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