Xalaila's book diary

I mostly post reviews of the books I'm reading lately.

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Adichie


"In 1960s Nigeria, a country blighted by civil war, three lives inersect. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university lecturer. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. The third is Richard, a shy Englishman in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. When the shocking horror of the war engulfs them, their loyalties are severly tested as they are pulled apart and thrown together in ways that none of them imagined."


Switching between the early and the late 60s, and set in the context of the Biafran war, Adichie narrates the lives of three Nigerians with grace and beauty. She doesn't shy away from the horrors of war, including the starvation that brought Biafra international attention, but she doesn't dwell on the gory parts, focusing more on the feelings and thoughts of the different characters, on how they struggle to survive.


Half of a Yellow Sun is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. There are just as many moments of hope as there are of grief, but there is no real conclusion because war is ugly.

Currently reading

Life and Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, The
Florence A. Marshall
From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia
Pankaj Mishra
Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 1
Thomas Malory, Janet Cowen, John Lawlor