Half of a Yellow Sun Author:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie With her award-winning debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was heralded by the Washington Post Book World as the “21st century daughter” of Chinua Achebe. Now, in her masterly, haunting new novel, she recreates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an in... more »dependent republic in Nigeria during the 1960s.
With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Adichie weaves together the lives of five characters caught up in the extraordinary tumult of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Ugwu is houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor who sends him to school, and in whose living room Ugwu hears voices full of revolutionary zeal. Odenigbo’s beautiful mistress, Olanna, a sociology teacher, is running away from her parents’ world of wealth and excess; Kainene, her urbane twin, is taking over their father’s business; and Kainene’s English lover, Richard, forms a bridge between their two worlds. As we follow these intertwined lives through a military coup, the Biafran secession and the subsequent war, Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise, and intimately, the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place.
Epic, ambitious and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a more powerful, dramatic and intensely emotional picture of modern Africa than any we have had before.« less
This is a story of the Biafran War, a civil war in Nigeria in the late 60's, a time and place I know very little about. The main characters in the book are middle class Biafrans and we follow their struggle to survive the calamities of war times in their country. There was a lot of suffering in the story, but the focus was on hope and humanity, which caught my interest on page one and kept my interest throughout. My only complaint is that the mystery surrounding "the events leading up to Baby's birth" felt forced and unnecessary. It seemed as though the book would have been as good or better if the story had been told straight through without trying to create that mystery. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone.