Book review – Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
About the book
The book came out in 2006 and won the award Womens prize for Fiction in 2007.
A movie based on the book was released in 2013.
To write the book Adichie made extensive research for years interviewing family members and reading books about the war.
The book Half of a yellow sun takes place in Nigeria in the 1960s and we follow the lives of two sisters, their men and their houseboys. Born as the daughters of a wealthy businessman in Lagos the sisters privileged lives start in luxury. But personalities, life choices and the approaching Biafra war chisels out different paths for the sisters.
This book is very well written! Adichies way of using the language is very enjoyable. The characters are very well composed and I really love the way she uses the words to paint their different personalities and how the language sometimes, unexpectedly, takes a turn to be almost poetic.
She also plays with the chronological order in a smart way so that the questions that arise in your head while reading get unexpected answers at a later stage.
I also admire anyone who can write about difficult things without becoming sentimental or fall in to the trap of wallowing in the misery. Adichie shows us the effects of war, not by rubbing the atrocities in our face but by letting the war decide peoples fates in the background while our focus is elsewhere, often in the mundane.
This book, all though fictional, has taught me more about the Biafran Nigerian war (1967-1970) than school ever did.
It is well worth reading! I give this book 4/5