Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is another intense, heart-wrenching historical fiction book a war in Africa. I seem to be reading a lot of these books lately. I guess I just need a good cry. Half of a Yellow Sun is about before and during the 1967-1970 Biafra-Nigerian Civil war. It's one of those wars we have never heard about in the Western world because as it's mentioned in the book, 100 black men dying are not as important as 1 one white man.
The book shifts back and forth between before the war, and to during the war. The main characters in the story are twin sisters in a wealthy Nigerian family, and the characters that hover in their middle-class to upper class circles. This book is difficult to read once the war starts. After reading this book, I felt like I had experienced something like being a part of this conflict, in my heart at least. If just reading about this war (though war seems to imply a match between evenly-matched militaries – which this wasn't) is this painful, I can't imagine how much worse it was for the people to live through this war.
You learn a lot about the experience of living through the late 60s, during the war, but the author doesn't lecture you. If you want to experience the pain and suffering of the Biafran war, this book is for you. I just finished this book 30 minutes ago and I'm shaken up at the moment. The history of Africa has been bloody, and sadly mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. It is very sad.
I don't want to leave you with the feeling that this book is just brutal to read, though at times it is, there is also incredible resilience and determination of the people to overcome all obstacles. Despite being cut off from Nigeria, people found ways to feed their families. People wanted to believe in a better future that would come from their independent country of Biafra. The ability for humans to hold out hope in the most hopeless situations is sometimes unbelievable. This book makes me want to hug all my family, call up everybody I know and pray to the God, or Gods and thank them for my health, food, and secure home.
I always believe that if a book makes you cry, that is one incredible book. This is one of those books. You may want to read the last 3 chapters alone if you have trouble keeping it together with emotional reads such as this.
Rating: ★★★★★ Book #36 in My 2019 Reading Challenge