Sunday, 4 March 2018

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"For weeks, Ifemelu stumbled around, trying to remember the person she was before Curt."

The experiences of a young Nigerian woman who moves to America to study and begins a blog about race in America, are so far removed from my own. I've not had to suffer for the colour of my skin and certainly not in the ways so keenly described here. The novel is an interesting combination of observations of inequality mixed with a love story and a tale of growing up in a foreign place. The idea that you grow to embrace your environment and that alienates you from your beginnings as your world view changes.

Ifemelu and Obinze's stories occur in parallel and are markedly different, as they both move from Nigeria to the USA and the UK respectively. As the physical distance between them grows, so time and experiences drive further wedges and yet despite all the obstacles, the central premise is that their love will somehow overcome.

Perhaps one of the aspects I loved the most was the dark sense of humour that pervades. Ifemelu is such an interesting character and her motivations really only become clear late in the proceedings. In any case, her trials and tribulations made for a captivating read and actually made me look forward to public transport journeys for the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the tale.

5 out of 5 -  my blog is nowhere near as enlightening.


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