The Today correspondent picked Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. The novel is Yaa’s second. Her debut book, Homegoing was a bestseller when it came out in 2016. 

Transcendent Kingdom is about a Ghanaian family living in Alabama. The protagonist, Gifty, is a highly motivated neuroscience student at Stanford University. In addition to pursuing her PhD, she’s also caring for her mother. Following the overdose of her son, Gifty’s mom is struggling with her mental health.

Gifty decides to try to help her family by using science, but she soon finds herself thinking about her upbringing. 

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