Sunday, 13 June 2010

twenty-four.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)

Nigeria, 1960s. A young boy, Ugwu, is sent to the city to work as a houseboy for an academic. The academic often has friends over who talk about how African nations should kick out the colonisers and become republics. Olanna is the daughter of rich parents, she got her education in London and falls in love with the academic and moves in. Her twin sister meets an English writer, Richard, who decides to stay in the country despite the warnings from his friends and family. They live comfortable lives until Biafra declares its independence and war with Nigeria breaks out in 1967. Then they have to flee.

This is such an amazing book. Adichie manages to capture both the good intentions of the people in charge and the horrible outcomes. It also captures the mix between traditional indigenous life and modern life. My favourite part was the small book within the book that told the facts about the Biafrans fight for independence. And I really liked that I never had to feel sorry for the characters.

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