Sunday, April 3, 2016

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The first novel I read by this author was Americanah and I enjoyed it so I've been looking for another by this author for quite some time.  This is also a novel about Nigeria - specifically, it is about the Nigerian Civil War, which occurred between 1967 and 1970 - and is told from three different perspectives - Ugwu (a servant in a wealthy Nigerian family), Olanna (a wealthy, black Nigerian) and Richard ( a white Englishman). The book jumps about dramatically - and alternates between the period before the war and the period during/just after the war has ended.

Adichie focussed on the war from a purely civilian standpoint - the military and its characters are ancillary at best - and the main characters go from relative wealth to squalor. There are stories of raids, mass murders, genocide and abduction, some of which are experienced by the main characters. I enjoyed that the perspective was that of a civilian one. However, the choppiness of the period changes made it sometimes difficult to follow what was going on and when, so perhaps some of the significance of the story was lost. 

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