With this book I finished all three books by Adichie and acknowledging that though each was a gem this one was the best piece of history. I learnt more about African geography or history more than any text book. When a book inspires one to read more on the subject, author, period, characters and history, you know it's going to stay with you for a long time. Half of a Yellow Sun is such a book with its story, film, characters, quiz and song staying in various forms with me.
This book came to me thru my book club member Half of a Yellow Sun is aptly named after the flag of Biafra - the nation which couldn't be. The nation that took birth in hearts and songs and died there too. A nation that died with its people. A nation where one killed another for a piece of land it called Nation. For the security of its children and for the dedication to its God. A nation goes at War for reasons only God knows.
Each character wether Olanna, Professor, Richard, Ugwu or my favourite Kainene was strong, well sketched and fine lined. Olanna is the heroine indeed but Kainene is such an anti heroine, like the white and black, dark or light, easy or complicated, they contrast each other so well. It was the story of two sisters in the middle of a war. Sisters who stood by each other and were stronger than their men. The women are the roots of a nation.
Most war films portray brother love, this book was all about sister love and it was just fine. Independent thinking women who could fight anything. Be gentle yet strong, be independent yet together, be subtle yet true, be normal yet different.
Without revealing any plot, please read thru this book. It has everything you would want in a book like drama, characters, story, joy, sadness, love, break up, politics, cunning, struggle, death, war, dark and an ending which makes you sigh. Yes this book makes you sigh.
Some beautiful sighs, from the book:
He was not one of those who used untidiness to substantiate their radicalism.
There was something wet about his smile. It looked as if the movement of his lips made saliva fill his mouth and threaten to trickle down his chin.
You Americans always peering under people's beds to look for communism.
Does inequality have to mean indignity?
Her selfishness had liberated her.
Unbroken happiness is a bore; it should have ups and downs.
(Image source: thenewblackmagazine.com)