Wells That Draw Water: A Review of Transcendent Kingdom

Hello there, traveler! Happy Belated Mother’s Day! 💜

To all the moms and parents out there, thank you for your loveliness. Shout out to eldest siblings, aunts, grandparents, and guardians. And to everyone who isn’t with a loved one today, or haven’t had much to celebrate lately, here’s a colossal hug. 🤗 You deserve the world.

Let’s talk about one of my recent reads, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, a short, surprising read about family life, immigrant experiences, religion alignments, and mental health that I absolutely adored.

The cover for Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

SYNOPSIS:

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief — a novel about faith, science, religion, love. 


Goodreads | Book Depository | IndieBound


Rep:

  • Ghananaian cast, protagonist, and author
  • Bisexual main character
  • Depression
  • Mental health representation
  • Religious representation (Christianity)
  • BIPOC characters

Content Warnings:

  • Death
  • Depression
  • Drug abuse
  • Overdose
  • Parental neglect
  • Racial slurs
  • Racism
  • Suicidal ideation

tl;dr: Do I recommend this book?

"Yes," written in bold, black text.

MY RATING: ★★★★★


“We read the Bible how we want to read it. It doesn’t change, but we do.”

I read this book for a school assignment — to analyze, dissect, and interpret as required by my English teacher (who is amazing, by the way) and her Google-Doc dissertation prompt. I had no idea how profoundly Transcendent Kingdom would affect me.

Continue reading “Wells That Draw Water: A Review of Transcendent Kingdom”