If there must be a purpose to the creation of yet another slave narrative other than to show how cruel, unfair, debased and horrific slavery was, it should be to convey the impact of it on modern life. Homegoing loses some of its urgency in the later segments, perhaps because there are fewer rapes, no bleeding love scenes, no sudden thefts of freedom. There is also too vast an array of lives and emotional interiors to take in; the book becomes overloaded, lacking a central thread, and we begin to forget. But this idea also seems significant, one thread of the intricate lace of the book. We may forget, or may want to forget, yet we cannot, because – as with Marcus and Marjorie, the novel’s contemporary, closing characters – slavery is a source of our confusion and discomfort, regardless of which side of the colour divide we descend from. So here is a book to help us remember. It is well worth its weight.