First of all, three words, one name, CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE!!!
This riveting, eye-opening, entertaining novel by Chimamanda, is the stuff that timeless pieces of literature are made of!
Half of a Yellow Sun, beautifully tells of life before, during and after the Biafra War in Nigeria, which took place between 1967-1970. It covers the lives of a village boy named Ugwuanyi, an academic named Master, his spouse Olanna, her sister Kainene and the latter’s spouse Richard, a Briton.
Chimamanda expertly carries the reader through typical life in Nigeria. She palpably narrates the story of the lives of wealthy, elite families and in the same vein, that of the destitute, in the same country. She interpolates sufficient Igbo in her work. An indication of a woman proud of her roots.
She demystifies the cause of the war- the Hausa in the North, led by Gowon versus the Igbo in the South, led by Ojwuku. The former was wary of fear of domination from the more educated South. This coupled with British imperial interests, to maintain her influence, rather than try to restore justice and respect of the rule of law. The tussle over resources and instruments of power led to the South seeking for secession. They envisioned themselves independent from the North, and christened the ‘new republic’, Biafra. It’s emblem, half of a yellow sun!
A civil war ensues. A war marred by wanton corruption, skirmishes, ethnic clashes, impunity on the part of soldiers and those in authority, senseless killings and blatant human rights violation. Half of a Yellow Sun is educative and entertaining! It’s the type of novel to crack your ribs and make you cry, in equal measure. This novel will make you examine yourself, your friends and your society. The detail in this book stunningly accurate! The characterization, plot, and thematic issues, are all testament to the calibre of an author that Chimamanda is- top tier!
This is a book everyone should read. It should remind us how easily those in authority can use the masses for their own selfish gains. It should remind us that there are more that unites us, than what divides us! It should remind us how powerful a tool literature is!
What a book! What an author! What an experience!
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE!
REVIEW BY AURA BILLY OSOGO.