Book Reviews

The Spotlight: A Review On “Half Of A Yellow Sun” By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Hi y’all!  Welcome to another episode of The Spotlight!  How was your week?  I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day.

Well, today, I will be spotlighting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s popular book, Half Of A Yellow Sun!  I’m probably the last to read it and discover this amazing Author that everyone keeps going on about.  I decided I had to read one of her books, when my uncle gave me a review of my book The Church Girl, and said I had done better than Chimamanda Adichie!  Having read her book now, I know that was a HUGE compliment 😊

So, Adichie is well known for her book about the Biafran War, Half Of The Yellow Sun, which was made into a movie in 2013, starring Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Genevieve Nnaji, Anika Noni Rose, John Boyega and Joseph Mawle.  She now has three other popular titles, many awards and achievements to her name.  She is also the Creative Director of the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop.

So, to my review!  Dun dun dun dunnnn….

The book was epic!  It was high grade.  When I think of all the other books I’ve been reading on Okadabooks, I know why Chimamanda is highly praised and respected.  Her writing style is intelligent and yet easy to read.  Her story was full and insightful, well-researched and so captivating.

She told a powerful story from the perspective of three very different characters.  Ugwu, the house boy of Odenigo, a University Professor and activist.  Olanna, a woman and Professor from a wealthy family, who’s enamoured with Odenigo.  And Richard, a White man and writer, who’s fascinated with Igbo Art and Olanna’s twin sister, Kainene.

The story was broken into four parts.  The Early Sixties, The Late Sixties, The Early Sixties and The Late Sixties again.  I wasn’t keen on this arrangement, because the jump to the late sixties in the beginning skipped past some important events that were continually hinted at.  I think it was meant to be suspenseful, but one can already guess what happened, so that when Part Three takes you back to the early sixties, the emotional impact of all that transpired is diminished, because you already figured it out.  I wish the story had continued seamlessly from the early sixties to the late sixties.

The description of the war and the impact of it was really excellent.  It was gripping, and powerful, and it was so skillful how she didn’t rush to tell it all at once, but painted each picture and captured all the emotions dealing with the war and the personal traumas and dilemmas of each character.  It was a work of art!  Very interesting and entertaining, even as much as it was sad and painful/horrible to read about.  Adichie captured reality and life, and so I learnt a lot from reading this book.

My critique would be with the arrangement of the parts, and the fact that I would have preferred if it wasn’t so long.  I don’t know what part I would have taken out because all of it was relevant and powerful.  But after a while, it was all just never ending torment!  I wished there were more things to smile about, and that it didn’t end so abruptly.

But I guess that’s the way war is.  You always feel cheated and wish things didn’t happen the way they did.  But in life, you just have to dust off and keep it moving.  So, I also appreciate how realisticly the book ended.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!  Parential Guidance is needed for the kids, but even the young ones should read this book.  Not to instill fear nor anxiety, but wisdom and an appreciation of love and peace.

Get your copy!  It’s N727 on

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If you liked this post, you might like THE SPOTLIGHT: A REVIEW OF ‘QUEEN OF ICE’ BY AMINAT SANNI-KAMAL

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