Up until recently, my favorite book was “Purple Hibiscuses” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. That changed when I read “Half of a Yellow sun” by the same author, who also happens to be my favorite author. The novel is about the Nigerian civil war (Biafran war) and it is told through the perspective of three very different characters.
Before I read the book, I knew nothing about the republic of Biafra although the images from the war looked familiar because they have often been used by European publications when discussing “Africa” and “the hungry children of Africa”. It was interesting to learn about the war and the impact it had on Nigerian citizens. We did not learn much about Africa in school and I think it is extremely important for us (Africans) to know the history of our continent because it helps us understand why we are where we are today, what we need to do differently in order to develop, economically and socially, and we can also look back and see how far we’ve come.
I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s style of writing, I love how it’s so casual but profound at the same time, like she doesn’t try too hard. Her characters are so thoroughly developed that they seem real, I’ts almost like I knew them personally. The reader experiences the impact of the war on the different characters and how they unraveled as a result without it actually being stated, because that’s how well they have been developed, one gets to really KNOW them and when I was done reading the book I genuinely missed them. The whole booked seemed real, It was like reading a biography I had to remind myself quite often that it’s just a story. I really appreciated the amount of work and research that went into writing the novel. In an interview printed on the last pages of the book, she states that it took her four years to complete it, the quality of the story is proof of that. It is simply an amazing book.