Book Review: Half of a Yellow Sun—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Every now and then, I come across a book written, not by an author, but by a storyteller. Someone who has mastered the art and power of language. Half of a Yellow Sun immediately struck me as a novel written by such a person. Raw, real, revolutionary, it was one of those books I lost myself in. I forgot I was reading, I was so immersed in the story.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a way of writing that is both hard-hitting and beautiful. In the past, Bridget and I have talked about books that contained language so beautiful, we felt compelled to write it down. If I’m being truthful, this was not one of those books. There wasn’t a line that stood out or that compelled me to record it. Rather, the words did one thing and one thing only–that was convey the brutally fragile humanity of a society in turmoil. It wasn’t the words that stood out, but the characters. It wasn’t the language that drew me in, but the complexities of the relationships Adichie so expertly navigated. It wasn’t poetry, but stark portrayal of loss and remorse, triumph and love that kept me coming back for more. Adichie didn’t just write a story–she captured a volatile record of a country in wartime. And she did all of these things expertly.

To say I loved this novel would be to misspeak. The terminology would be all wrong. Rather, this novel challenged me intellectually. It filled me with questions. It drew me in. I respected this novel. I knew, right away that I would recommend this novel. In short, Half of a Yellow Sun did what a good novel should do. It made me notice and experience it.

You will not find any book quotes in this post. But you will find a challenge–if you are looking for someone who so expertly depicts the complexities of the human condition, then I challenge you to go out and read this book. Experience this book. Because it is a novel of true, masterful storytelling, and it deserves to be experienced.


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