WATCH – Mind Blowing –
Sep. 15, 2020 – Belief can be tricky. Either you wholeheartedly believe in your faith or you have niggling doubts that crop up at the most inopportune time. The narrator of our latest read finds herself trying to reconcile her religious upbringing with her scientific pursuits.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi In her brilliantly executed sophomore novel, Yaa Gyasi asks readers to follow the protagonist’s internal journey as Gifty struggles to reconcile her religious upbringing with her scientific research after her mother falls into a deep depression. Gifty is a talented scientist working on a Ph.D. in neuroscience as she studies the brain to try to understand if the brain can be trained to not want something it has grown addicted to. As Gifty tries to care for her mother who has been shipped from Alabama to Gifty’s small student apartment in California, she finds herself forced to think about her family and her childhood.
Gifty was raised by her Ghanaian immigrant parents and lived in the shadow of her talented and beloved older brother, Nana. With a distant father who abandoned her and Nana’s drug addiction, Gifty clung to her mother’s deep love of God to provide some stability in her life.
“Transcendent Kingdom” examines addiction, depression, immigration, racism, religion and science in a beautifully fluid manner that educates the reader while keeping them entranced in Gifty’s story. Readers will find themselves invested in Gifty’s scientific pursuits as she tries to determine whether she believes more in the corporeal practicalities of the mind or the spiritual nature of religion.