Half of a Yellow Sun

Book: Half of a Yellow Sun

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Short Summary:
In this story we follow several different characters leading up to and during the Biafran war in Nigeria. We are taken into the heart of the war and the devestation it causes all involved. The plot revolves around Ugwu, a houseboy for Odenigbo who is a professor and a big supporter of the revolution. He is living with the beautiful younger woman Olanna. Olanna’s sister, Kainene is involved with a British man Richard who is living in Nigeria. Together, these characters form bonds, live through betrayal, grow together and apart,  and deal with the horrors of war.

My Thoughts:
This was not only a very well written, engaging book, it was also extremely educational. One reason I love to read is to learn, and this book truly helped me to do that. I knew very, very little about Nigeria before reading this book and had sadly never heard of the Biafran war. Through the pages of this novel I was introduced to an amazing set of characters who taught me about this interesting country and the war they fought with both spirit and despair.

This was a book club choice and led to some great conversation. Some did not particularly enjoy the format of the book. It jumps back and forth before the war and during the war. I actually liked the use of the time changes. It was interesting for me to see what happens and then go back and see how the characters got to where they are. It put a little intrigue in the story for me.

I enjoyed most of the characters. They were interesting and none of them felt one-dimensional. Since the story covered about several years, I really saw the characters grow and change throughout.

This is a book I would recommend. It is long, but very educational, has great character development, and makes for a good discussion.

My Rating: 3.75/5 stars

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