It was the book I started on the plane to Gran Canaria and finished next to the pool two days later. I was torn because I really wanted to read the book, but I also really wanted to catch up and talk to my best friend who I was in Gran Canaria with and hadn’t seen for six months.
So it took me a day longer than I hoped, but man… this book.
I was a little worried it’d turn out to be like Swing Time by Zadie Smith, which I didn’t like because I felt like there wasn’t really a story, only disconnected pieces of memory.
But it didn’t.
Why do I love him?…I don’t think love has a reason…I think love comes first and then the reasons follow.
‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ follows three people through Nigeria’s civil war in the 1960’s.
Olanna, a beautiful and privileged woman who gives it all up for her lecturer lover. Ugwu, their houseboy. And Richard, another lecturer at the university who falls smitten with Kianene, Olanna’s twin sister.
The book describes how they struggle through the war, with their race and allegiances, with love.
‘You would not have asked me if I were not white.’
‘Of course I asked because you are white. They will take what you write more seriously because you are white.’
I’m absolutely speechless.
This book gave so much insight into a war I’d never even heard about, I got chills. When reading reviews after finishing the book, someone made me realize that this exact same thing is happening around the world right now too.
‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ is such an intimate book about love, loyalty, and home. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes beautifully, the characters develop and grow, the story makes sense. ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ teaches about West African culture and history.
It’s heartbreaking to read about the war. There are a couple of graphic scenes, but this only confronts the reader with the reality of war. And again, it’s happening around the world now too.
Really, the only thing I didn’t like is, well… that it ended. I could’ve read another 400 pages about how they start their life after the war, having to deal with memories, different lifestyles than before, friends and family who passed or fled. But I guess that’s only a good thing.
Another thing that may bother some people, is that it describes peoples lives, but it doesn’t have a storyline where it starts with a problem, and it’s solved towards the end. For me, this didn’t bother me in this book, but I can see it won’t grab everyone that way.
In short, I think this book will only enrich anyone who reads it and give insight into civil war, love and loyalty, and West Africa, and I look forward to reading another book by Adichie. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t order another one right after finishing the book, is because I ordered 10+ books last week before going on holiday…