Beginning this month, Carry the Future will recommend one adult read, one young adult read, and one story time for our youngest readers. Along with the recommendation, we will offer a reading guide or activity to aid in understanding themes, symbols, and characters. This month’s recommended reading for adults is Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

Gyasi’s new novel, published at the beginning of September, is an exploration of family, science, faith, and understanding how we fit into the world around us. Gifty, the daughter of Ghanian immigrants, is a PhD candidate studying neuroscience, who is working to find a way to help addicts. The novel is written non-chronologically, taking the reader through the experiences of her immigrant family from the decision to move to the U.S. to the death of her brother, the depression of her mother, and the abandonment of her father. 

Read on for a reader’s guide to the novel. You can ponder the questions as you read or once you’ve finished. 

  • Gifty is born in the United States. How is her experience of living in the U.S. different from her parents’ experience? Her brother’s experience?
  • Gifty eventually realizes that her family is treated differently because of their immigrant status and the color of their skin. How does she react to this? What effect does this have on her worldview?  
  • How do science and religion play a part in Gifty’s search for identity? 
  • The push and pull between science and faith is a common discussion in our world today. How does Gifty resolve this conflict in her own life? 

Each month, we will suggest another book for adults. Check our blog and social media for suggestions and reader’s guides. Once you’ve finished reading, feel free to discuss the books on our social media.

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