Cover Image: Rootless


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Member Reviews

I know I’m an unpopular opinion on this one but I just could not get excited about this book. I would read a chapter or two a night and then promptly forget about it and not pick it up again for days. That pattern continued for about a month until I finally decided to DNF at 25%. I was excited for a book along the same vein as Maame but was disappointed. I needed maybe a bit more back and forth between timelines because I was finding myself bored with the story of young Efe and just wanting to know what happened to her!
I didn’t find myself connecting to or even liking any of the characters either.
It almost felt as if there was too much trying to be tackled in this book. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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this was my first introduction to lit fic / women fiction and i am glad it was. the writing was so very poignant and moving from the first page and the changing from the present to the past for majority of the book was so ingenious and impactful
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I started really enjoying this book. I was so curious why Efe decided to leave her husband and child. As the story continued, and we learned about Sam and Efe's lives, I became a little restless. I wanted the story to speed up a little and I didn't really need all that history. Thank you, NetGalley.
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This book was a bite slow but good. I liked the setup based on dates. I really enjoyed the MC's journey. This book made me look at each character & try to determine if they were right or wrong in certain choices they made.
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Wow, this really tugged at my heartstrings. Rootless is engaging and special. It explores heavy topics with sensitivity and love, and I thoroughly enjoyed the angst that came with it. Definitely check this out!
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I was really struggling with what to rate this because there are amazing things about this book and things that didn’t work for me.

First of all, the authors writing is fantastic. I really quickly grew to care for Efe and empathized with her so much. I didn’t really care for Sam and often questioned why they were together. 

I am unsure if the multiple timelines worked for this book. At times, it felt a little disjointed. 

The ending… oof, that was unexpected and heartbreaking. What a deeply powerful ending, yet struggled with it due to actions of other characters. It felt really unfair.

Overall. I think there are pieces of a strong book here. I’d recommend this for readers who enjoy a coming of age story, and any readers who enjoyed Queenie.
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The majority of this book sucked me in, but the ending really felt off to me. I obviously won't give a spoiler, but the disconnect made me question my interest in the rest of the novel.
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I wanted to like this book, but I struggled with it. Writing a book takes great dedication and creativity so I commend the author for putting forth the effort. I felt this book contained way too much back story. The beginning of the story was extremely intriguing and immediately pulled me in, but I was soon tossed into a maze of never-ending backstory. Most of wish did not add to the story. Only to arrive at a disappointing ending. Thank you Netgalley and Balletine Books for the opportunity to read this advance copy.
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I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a very long time. I have felt so much of what the main character felt, and really related some of her pains as a mother. The ending absolutely broke me. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful story, and would absolutely recommend it.
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I feel as if a review wouldn’t really give this book true justice or encompass all that needs to be talked about in order to fully grasp the gem that is this book. And for a debut novel… blown away. Pick it up, immerse yourself, be awed.
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3.5 stars.

Rootless explores the life of Efe, a young woman whose childhood was split between Ghana and the UK, as she comes of age, gets married, and becomes a mother. She faces challenges in her relationships with her family back home, with her husband, and with the child she never wanted. 

The book starts with Efe leaving her husband and daughter unexpectedly, then flashes back to her childhood and works its way forward from there. While I enjoyed the story and learning about her relationships in more detail, I felt that the structure of the novel took away some of the narrative tension - we already know where things are going. Even with some surprises along the way, I had a hard time staying engaged the whole way through.

The major strength of the novel is its portrayal of deeply flawed characters. Efe and Sam are deeply flawed, and even as they were making bad decisions I could empathize with their choices and rooted for them both to recover and heal. I look forward to reading more books from this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books/PRH for the eARC.
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I absolutely adored this book. Krystle's pen game is so strong and so gripping. 
The way the book was constructed takes you through a timeline of our two MCs relationship and seeing the years, months, and weeks countdown adds to the intensity. 
I will be thinking about this for weeks to come!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an e-ARC of Rootless, available everywhere now.

Since they were in high school, Efe and Sam have been in each other's orbits, in one way or another. It was no surprise, then, when the pair eventually married. With the arrival of their daughter and their careers trending upwards, they are the epitome of a white-picket lifestyle. But despite what it looks like on the outside, the cracks begin to show. After a decade together, the two find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. While Sam is thrilled at the opportunity for another crack at fatherhood, Efe feels like she's trapped in a nightmare. As the two argue about what this means for their future, she flees London in hopes of finding a bearable solution. Leaving, though, might come at a heavy cost for her relationship. Is it one she's willing to bear?

This debut novel tackles numerous hard-hitting themes, from post-partum depression to the punishment women face for not conforming to the traditional roles in society. I'm not ordinarily a fan of stories starting in the present day and then going backwards to tell a story but in this case, I didn't mind it. I thought it allowed for great insight into both characters as we worked our way to the here and now. That said, I didn't care for the ending. It felt like Efe made a unilateral decision without involving her partner, and expected that she'd be forgiven. Sam's original reaction to her choice was much more of an interesting take for me because I thought it most closely mirrored what'd happen in real life. When the story veered off in the opposite direction and then XYZ happened, I was really frustrated and disappointed. Like, that's how things are going to wrap up?
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Rootless is a story that tackles pressures put on women (by loved ones and society), motherhood, postpartum depression, loneliness when surrounded by others, and so much more. Though parts of the book were prolonged for my taste, it was done phenomenally (I'm just very impatient). Appiah takes time to develop the characters and share their thoughts and mindsets. Efe, the story's protagonist, undergoes a journey of self-discovery and self-fulfillment. This often causes problems with her loved ones, particularly her mother (Maame) and her eventual husband (Sam). As a woman, I could identify with many of Efe's feelings. However, at times, it felt like her thoughts and actions were dragged out longer than they should have. Overall, I recommend the book and love the blend of London and Ghana.
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I was very conflicted about this book. I read is as a buddy read and there were a lot of moments when we were both confused. And the ending…I just don’t know how to feel about it. It tied everything up nicely but is it realistic in its surprise or is a convenient way to let the characters avoid conflict? I read this book over a month ago and I’m still thinking about it. It was real and raw, which made it hard to read, but the prose and alternating time periods made it easy to speed through each chapter. I would definitely agree that this is a “heartrending“ story. I’d recommend it, even if I still can’t decide how I feel.
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This is a heartbreaking story of motherhood that might be hard for some people to read. Parental expectations, cultural differences, and losing yourself to motherhood are prevalent throughout the story. There’s also self reflection and healing.

Alternating between past and present weaving together the story of two broken people and their broken families. Rootless was a slow build story that I really wanted to love but parts of it were too long and felt unnecessary.

That being said, I really enjoyed this debut novel by Krystle Zara Appiah. I think there are so many women who will be able to relate to the FMC.
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Whew - this hit hard. The writing is so good - I could see the neighborhoods and the smell the food and hear the accents - the writing is that good. The subject of postpartum and how hard it is to be a mother was spot on - it made me cry. I love the image or ROOTLESS and how different places and people can make us either feel at a loss or grounded and stable. This is a really good read and I hope you read it - great for a book club discussion. Thanks to Random
House Ballantine for the advanced copy. I’ll be thinking of this one for a long time.
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Rootless is a debut novel by Krystle Appiah. It is very well written and easy to dive right in. It is a story of motherhood, mental health, relationships, being independent and finding one’s roots.
This is the story of Sam and Efe and the trials and tribulations of their romance and marriage. Efe is from Ghana and she is sent to the UK along with her sister to go to school and for a better life. It is there that she meets Sam. Efe and Sam stay friends during high school and University as well.  Sam and Efe eventually marry and Efe is feeling grounded for a while. She becomes pregnant, despite always saying that she doesn’t want children. She doesn’t have a mother’s instinct. After giving birth, Efe suffers from postpartum depression. While her husband Sam tries to help out the best he knows how, Efe feels all alone with her child Olivia. While she loves her daughter, she feels trapped in this life of taking care of her. When Efe becomes pregnant again, she is forced to make decisions for herself.
I love the way the author set up the timeline of the book. You always knew where you were in time as she counted up the months/years since Efe left Sam and Olivia. 
I felt for the characters Efe and Sam. They loved each other so much, but when one resents the other their marriage just falls apart. While I was extremely surprised by the ending of the book and wish it ended differently, I would still recommend this book to readers who like to read about relationships and motherhood. Looking forward to the next novel by this author. 
Trigger warnings for self-harm and postpartum depression. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for allowing me to read an ARC of Rootless in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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This is a debut novel.  The main character, Efe, is a young woman who feels confined by the expected role of mother and wife.  The novel takes place in Ghana and England.  During the first chapter, the author presents a family in turmoil.  The first ⅔ of the novel builds up to the initially presented turmoil.  The last ⅓ of the novel is the aftermath of the opening chapter.  

The way the author lays out the novel is interesting.  However, it also leads to the story’s plot and writing feeling stagnant.  I found myself wishing for a resolution and conclusion to the story line.
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The ending of this book was devastating that smash your heart on the ground, how will the world ever be fixed type of way and I don't know if I need to write more of a review than that. If you enjoyed Maame and You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, this is a must read.
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