War Interrupts Life

Flag of Biafra

I stepped into a different world, when I started reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The setting is nothing like my life, nor anything I have the imagination to conjure.  The title comes from the Biafran flag because the story revolves around the Biafran war.

The story is told by a few people: Ugwu, Olanna, and Richard.  They are not the only major characters, but the author chose them to tell the story.  The setting is the Nigerian-Biafran war, 1967-1970.  The reader quickly picks up the ethnic struggles between the various tribes and the political/economic differences felt by the populace.

I learned history and enjoyed a good story.  The romance between Olanna and Odenigbo, Kainene and Richard and Ugwu's loves, are truly sensitive and real.  Olanna and Kainene are twins but are very different.  Kainene considers herself the less pretty one, but she is the business minded one.  She seems to be the most emotionally strong and healthy, although her situation in the end is questionable.  Olanna and Odenigbo are intellectuals trying to cope in situations where their philosophies don't fit. But life goes on and there are survivors and those of whom memories are held dear.

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