6 Books Like… Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

So you read this brilliant novel by Yaa Gyasi and, now you’re on the hunt for books like Transcendent Kingdom? Welcome!

books like Transcendent Kingdom

Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but as I said in the first post in this series, I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is a new release by Ghanaian author, Yaa Gyasi, a story about the intersection of faith and science, and the grief of losing a son and brother to the opioid epidemic. If you haven’t read it yet, read my full review here, and then go buy it!

Here’s my readalike criterion: Each book I recommend must have at least three strong similarities with the beloved title. For each recommended book, I’ll also highlight major differences to keep in mind, just in case they might put you off.

Without further ado, if you loved this book, here are more books like Transcendent Kingdom.

Books Like Transcendent Kingdom

A Place for Us

A Place for Us - books like transcendent kingdom

Similarities

  • A son with drug misuse issues
  • Strong sibling relationships
  • Inner struggle with faith
  • Parent-child conflicts
  • Immigrant parents adjusting to life in America
  • Same haunting feeling

Differences

  • Middle-Eastern, not African family
  • Multiple POV narration
  • Muslim family, not Christian

Ghana Must Go

ghana must go - books like transcendent kingdom

Similarities

  • Features a Ghanaian family
  • Set in Ghana and the US
  • Features several mental health disorders
  • Also features a character who misuses drugs
  • Strong matriarch character

Differences

  • Much larger family
  • More focused on family dysfunction and secrets

Salt Houses

salt houses - books like transcendent kingdom

Similarities

  • Similar grief theme
  • Palestinian family immigrates to the US
  • Story follows a family over decades
  • Strong themes of migration and feelings of displacement

Differences

  • There’s more love, romance, and family in this one

Everything Here Is Beautiful

everything here is beautiful - books like transcendent kingdom

Similarities

  • Focuses on a strong sibling relationship
  • One sister supports another through mental health relapses
  • Themes of migration and displacement
  • Same feelings of melancholy run through most of this book

Differences

  • Bipolar disorder/schizophrenia, not drug misuses
  • Asian family, and really the focus is on both sisters
  • Multiple POV narration

The Namesake

the namesake - books like transcendent kingdom

Similarities

  • Family migrating from India to the US
  • Their son tries to find his place in society as an Indian-American
  • Focus on relationships between parents and children
  • Excellent observations on immigrant life

Differences

  • Indian-American family
  • No science or faith intersection
  • No significant drug misuse

Everything I Never Told You

everything i never told you - books like transcendent kingdom

Similarities

  • Strong themes of family, focus on parent-sibling relationships/sibling-sibling relationships
  • Death of a sibling
  • Family secrets
  • Parental separation

Differences

  • Asian family
  • Murder mystery
  • Historical fiction

And that’s a wrap: 6 books like Transcendent Kingdom! For many of these selections, I chose books that gave me that same feeling of sadness, with a twinge of hope. All of these books feature families, large or small, and strong sibling relationships. They’re also backlist brilliant literary fiction releases that you’re sure to have access to. I hope you find one that floats your boat.

Which of these selections have you read and enjoyed? Would you recommend any of these to readers who enjoyed Transcendent Kingdom? I’d love to hear your own readalikes for Transcendent Kingdom!

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