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.
This is a tremendous book, very well written. I encourage readers to also listen to the speech this author recently gave at a TED conference:
For anyone with an interest in Nigeria and the Biafran conflict, this is must reading. Her earlier book (for which she was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize), Purple Hisbiscus, is another that is well worth reading.
I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was an eye opening look into the Biafran War and the Nigerian culture. Adichie has a beautiful writing style that brings all of her characters to life. It is definitely a book that will be hard to forget. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history.
The intersection of lives in Nigeria during the era of the secession of Biafra. Heartrending descriptions of the horrors and effects of war. Beautifully written, and like "Purple Hibiscus", well worth your time.
Wonderful, wonderful read. The author does an outstanding job of depicting the war that occurred when Biafra struggled to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria. The characters endure the loss of friends, neighbors, relatives, and lovers. Yes, there is a good deal of death, starvation and loss of life.
My favorite character was Ugwu, 13, who works for Odenigbo, a university professor who lives with the lovely Olanna, a beautiful wealthy young woman. Ugwu loves the two and becomes like part of their family. There is also an Englishman, Richard, who is shy and in love with Olanna's outspoken twin sister, Kainene. We view the conflicts among individuals as well as the tragic aspects of war which affects the most innocent in such terrible ways. While this is fiction, it is based on many interviews and stories that were shared with the author. Once again I found a fiction based on historical issues and experiences to be a fascinating read.