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

half of a yellow sun

As most of you probably know, am a big fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I love her work and I think she is phenomenal.The funny thing is I liked her before I even read her books because I watched her videos and especially her TED talks .I first read “Purple Hibiscus” which I have reviewed here,after extremely loving it, I went ahead to read “Half of a Yellow Sun” which I had been procrastinating to read for along time.My experience of reading this book has been pretty much different from “Purple Hibiscus”.I took several months to read it.Yes, thats right, it took me several months because I love happy endings and this book was frustrating me with how intense it got every-time I read it.

About the Book
The book was published in 2007.Its Chimamanda’s second book after “Purple Hibicus”.The title of the book “Half of a Yellow Sun” is from the emblem of Biafra. The novel tells a heart wrenching story of love,resilience and betrayal during the Biafran war through the perspectives of Olanna ,Ugwu and Richard.The major theme in the novel is war; because it revolves around the Nigerian Civil war also called the “Biafran war” which started on 6 July 1967 and ended on 13 January 1970.Other themes include marriage,politics, identity, western journalism and role of westerners in post colonial Africa.

The novel revolves around two sisters ,Olanna and Kainene who are from an elite family.The return to Nigeria after their education abroad.Physically and personality wise very dissimilar, their relationship suffers mistrust and betrayal.They both fall in love, Olanna becomes a mistress to Odenigbo ,a Pan- africanist intellectual who teaches at a university ,while Kainene forms a relationship with Richard a shy and awkward Englishman who is a writer.The war and its conflicts throws the four into a world they never expected along with Ugwu who is Odenigbo’s houseboy.

My thoughts
The book is remarkable.It tells a story of Biafra triumphantly. Chimamanda presents and revives an account of war through a story that touches all aspects from crimes against humanity, rape,poverty, betrayal and hope.It will definitely teach you something. Chimamanda’s language is as usual simple and straightforward.I would recommend it to everyone.

Favorite excerpts from the book
“You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

“Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

“And it’s wrong of you to think that love leaves room for nothing else. It’s possible to love something and still condescend to it.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

“How can we resist exploitation if we don’t have the tools to understand exploitation?” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

“Why do I love him?…I don’t think love has a reason…I think love comes first and then the reasons follow.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
“We never actively remember death,’ Odenigbo said. The reason we live as we do is because we do not remember that we will die. We will all die.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

“If this is hatred, then it is very young. I has been caused, simply, by the informal divide-and-rule policies of the British colonial exercise. These policies manipulated the differences between the tribes and ensured that unity would not exist, thereby making the easy governance of such a large country practicable.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

“…my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe…I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.”Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun


15 thoughts on “Book Review:Half of a Yellow Sun- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  1. I also began to like Chimamanda just after watching her video presentations. I am going to read my first book of her that a friend purchased for me The Thing Around Your Neck. I can’t wait. She is truly phenomenal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Her videos are fantastic,right 😀. I have watched many and she is funny and smart. I would like to read “The thing around Your Neck “ too but I want to read “Americanah “ first. I hope you enjoy that read 😊


    1. Hi Liz, how have you been?The book is very interesting and intense.I watched many Nigerian movies when I was kid then stopped at some point.The other day I watched one interesting one “The wedding party “ and it’s really funny.If you like movie you should check that 😊


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