Top positive review
Reviewed in India on 3 February 2018
War cripples humanity; and the main victims of any war are women and kids. Chimamanda Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun reiterates it again. I had a disturbing time post reading Half of a Yellow Sun. The story makes you question the sustainability of morality and empathy in a war situation. The social norms are the facade we humans live with. The moment it is peeled off, we become the worst examples of cruelty and brutality.
The story of Half of a Yellow Sun is set in the backdrop of Nigerian Civil War that took place between 1967 to 1970. Nigerian Civil War broke out due to political and ethnic struggles, partly caused by the numerous attempts of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria to secede and form the Republic of Biafra. In the book, the effect of the war is shown through the dynamic relationships of five people’s lives including twin daughters of an influential businessman, a professor, a British citizen, and a houseboy.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie narrates the story through three main characters, i.e., one of the twins, the house boy, and the British fellow. The lives of these three characters are swept up in the turbulence of a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.
With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has woven together a story about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race, and the ways in which love can complicate them all. Adichie brilliantly evokes the promises and the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place, bringing us one of the most powerful, dramatic, and intensely emotional pictures of modern Africa that we have ever had.
The writer has portrayed the havoc wrecked by the war so blatantly that it haunts you for few days. It will leave a thought in your mind as to what would you do in such a situation and on second thought, you would shudder and be grateful to God for keeping you in safer conditions. Some scenes in the book reminded me of the situation in India after the partition. The bloodshed, the gory violence, the desperateness that people faced during that period.
After reading two of the author's books, I can vouch that Chimamanda is an extraordinary story teller with a brilliant insight and acumen.
The book was also adapted into a movie in 2013