Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
source – chimamanda.com
The first part of the book bored me and it took me months to finally understand what is happening. But then halfway through the book, I couldn’t stop reading it anymore.
I like this book for so many reasons.
The main character, Ifemelu, a strong woman from Nigeria, migrated to America, a nation so great, it crushed her strong spirit, initially. I guess, this happens to a lot of migrants anyway. But then, she got lucky and finally succeeded. She became a famous blogger and she writes about racism. I like her character, strong willed (although judgmental at some point), opinionated, loving, sometimes confused, and imperfect. These traits made her very human and that made the story interesting for me.
I like the author’s opinion about politics and racism, I am not very much into politics but I like to read it if it is in much simplified version.
This is the first book about Nigeria that I have read and I found the country interesting. It reminds me of the Philippines in some ways, being a 3rd world country where corruption is always present and padrino system works all the time. The book also has a part about Nigerians who migrated, came back to their country and thought highly of themselves. And how reunion with friends becomes a verbal battle of who has more, who did what, where did someone go, etc., This is so like us.
I like the love story of Ifemelu and Obinze, it felt real.
Surprisingly, I liked a book that is ‘now.’ I usually find it odd to read stories of the present times as I prefer reading about the past. But this book is quite a good one.
After reading this book, I looked for book reviews and I found some bad ones, saying that this book is more about the political insights of the author and the characters just served as background. Fair enough, the book contained a lot of insights on politics and racism, but then I like it the way it is.
This is the first book of Adichie that I have read and I think I would like to read another one again.