Following the death of her mother, Anna discovers a journal written by the father she never knew. As she reads, she searches for answers on her mixed-race identity that seemed to baffle her white British mother. When she discovers he is alive and living in a small (fictional) African country, she is determined to meet him. But the idealism she reads about in his youth is not what she discovers; her father is the former President of the country--possibly even a dictator.
Anna's search for identity, family, and some truth about her father was coupled with themes of racism, colonialism, and political power. While Anna could be frustrating, her journey made for a fascinating listen.
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Anna is at a stage of her life when she’s beginning to wonder who she really is. She has separated from her husband, her daughter is all grown up, and her mother—the only parent who raised her—is dead. Searching through her mother’s belongings one day, Anna finds clues about the African father she never knew. His student diaries chronicle his involvement in radical politics in 1970s London. Anna discovers that he eventually became the president—some would say dictator—of a small nation in West Africa. And he is still alive… When Anna decides to track her father down, a journey begins that is disarmingly moving, funny, and fascinating. Like the metaphorical bird that gives the novel its name, Sankofa expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present to address universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for a family’s hidden roots.