Title: Transcendent Kingdom
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Type: Literary Fiction
Method Read: Physical
“We humans are reckless with our bodies, reckless with our lives, for no other reason than that we want to know what would happen, what it might feel like to brush up against death, to run right up to the edge of our lives, which is, in some ways, to live fully.”
Giffy is in her fifth year student studying neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine. She is studying reward seeking behavior and how depression and addiction impact the brain. Giffy is determined to solve the science behind the sadness she finds herself in with a brother who died of a heroine overdose and a mother who suffers from depression. As she studies she experiences an internal struggle with her childhood faith. This is a story about an family, faith, science and love and how they are all connected.
What did I like:
1. The book touched on some pretty touch subjects. Drug addiction and depression and how these things impact family and friends. I really liked that Giffy made it her life’s work to try and figure out how to help her brother who tragically passed away from a drug overdose and her mother who suffered from depression because of it.
2. I thought the writing was beautiful and the story was overall good. I loved the characters and found myself wishing that I could learn more about them.
3. It was interesting to read about Giffy’s struggle to keep her faith and belief in God but also what she believes to be true based on her science background. I think that is relatable for a lot of people.
What didn’t I like:
1. I am not a fan of nonlinear timelines. I don’t like the jumping around from past to present within the same page or chapter.
2. The entire story was mostly Giffy’s inner dialogue. I wasn’t a fan of that. I wanted more story and background with her brother, dad, mom and friends.