Pack the Post Colonial Novel “Half of a Yellow Sun” to Read on Your Next Trip: A Book Review
Half of a Yellow Sun is hailed as a “haunting story of love and war.” It’s set in Nigeria in the late 1960s. When I read this book, I was so moved by it. Half of a Yellow Sun introduces us to a poor, young Igbo boy named Ugwu. There is also Olanna who has been educated in London and is the daughter of a wealthy Lagos businessman. The book also introduces us to Olanna’s twin sister Kainene. Where Olanna is incredibly moralistic and passionate with her heart, Kainene is more closed-off and protected. Kainene is in a relationship with a British man named Richard.
The author Chimamanda created such vivid, multi-layered characters that I couldn’t help but feel like I knew them personally. I loved the stories of Richard and Kainene and one of my favourite sentences was: “There was something polished about her voice, about her; she was like the stone that lay right below a gushing spring, rubbed smooth by years and years of sparkling water, and looking at her was similar to finding that stone,knowing that there were so few like it.”
Ugwu, however, was my personal favourite. I loved him. Here was a young boy just trying to make his way in the world. To see how getting caught up in war and politics changed and scarred him…effected the decisions he made and did not make…was deep and raw. His character made me feel love, made my heart sore, and then he took it and crushed it, and rebuilt it once more.
This book is fantastic. The story flows so well and the language used is so evocative. I think people who have visited or lived in Africa will appreciate the descriptions of African life, African mentality, humour, nature, and so on.
Grab a copy of “Half of a Yellow Sun” at your favorite local book store, library, or on Amazon here. And follow her on Instagram at @chimamanda_adichie
Watch for more must-pack books and reviews soon!