One of the few books with as much buzz around it as Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom (2020) was her debut novel, Homegoing. In her follow-up, Gifty has a lot of fundamental questions about life and that makes her situation relatable; as a young PhD candidate at Stanford, her questions revolve around her studies in neuroscience. But her additional questions circle the relationship between science and religion, cast against the backdrop of her upbringing in the Christian church. “I haven’t much changed,” she says: “I still have so many of the same questions…. My soul is still my soul, even if I rarely call it that.” When her mother sings at her brother’s funeral in Twi, the English translation immediately follows; Gyasi handles her theme in a similarly clear-cut way, vacillating between musings on science—based in her lab, and musings on faith—based primarily in memories (some from Ghana and some around her mother, who survives on soup and prescription drugs but is essentially shuttered in the wake of her son’s—Gifty’s brother’s—death). The prose is straightforward, with an occasional simile (for instance, her brother’s addiction eating away at her “like moths in cloth”) and the structure is uncomplicated; this will better suit readers who prioritize story, whereas for my taste, I’d have liked a more nuanced exploration, reflecting her realization that “the hard part is trying to figure out what the question is, trying to ask something interesting enough”. Even though the story seems to circle an “and-also” resolution, the book feels like it’s structured as an “either-or” question. And I longed for more meandering, particularly on how suffering is incorporated into both hierarchies she investigates in her search for answers. Which could be exactly where Gifty is at, the more interesting questions still unasked.