I borrowed a copy of Adichie’s ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ from my English teacher and after finding another in a charity shop, I had to buy a copy of my own. This novel follows the lives of three people Ugwu, Olanna and Richard, all of which live in close proximity within Nigeria. It is set during the war between Nigeria and Biafra and reflects the struggles of those living among the conflict from day to day.
In particular, I was really intrigued in the treatment of women and how Nigerian society differs so much from that of the UK. I feel so lucky to live here and to have the opportunities I do, this novel made me understand that a lot of girls my age around the world would kill to be in my position. Richard’s experience with the two reporters was also very interesting, he talks about how the two men came and took a few photos with the children of Biafra and then went back to their lovely lives without any backwards glance on the lives of the children. Here, Adichie plays with the idea that it is easy for us, as people from fairly developed countries like the UK, to look upon others and sympathise, feeling as though our brief sympathy is actually changing anything, but in reality, it means nothing to those that suffer. At the very end of the book, there is an author’s note which explains that the characters within the novel are inspired by real people that Adichie actually knew, this really gave the whole situation a sense of reality, showing that people actually do experience situations such as that of Ugwu, Olanna and Richard. It was a real eye opener for me, brilliantly written and definitely one that I struggled to put down.