19 Responses

  1. Heather J.
    Heather J. October 25, 2010 at 8:17 am |

    I agree that this was an important story, and that the writing was beautiful, but I just didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped to. I do think that the ending was the right one though. As much as I wanted things to be happily ever after, that is not the way life is. Adichie was still able to convey hope despite all the tragedy, and that is the way life is.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 25, 2010 at 8:52 am |

      Heather J., I don’t think I loved it as much as I’d hoped either. But it may be one I appreciate more on a reread, if I can take it. I’m not particularly looking forward to the reread, though. It is just so poignant. I really wanted happily ever after too….

  2. Amanda
    Amanda October 25, 2010 at 8:19 am |

    I have to admit, I really want to read something by this author and this book is first on the list, but I’m scared of it at the same time. I don’t generally like books about war. I plan to get this one from the library first before acquiring it in any way, and I wonder if once again I’ll be the only person to not like a universally popular book…

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 25, 2010 at 8:58 am |

      Amanda, I don’t think this is a universally loveable book at all because there is so much violence in it. (There are lots of high ratings but goodreads seems to have some mixed reactions and some “hate” comments). I know you don’t like gore, so it really might not be for you, I don’t know. I mention there is lots of sex but there is also waaaay more violence. The violence didn’t bother me so much though. It’s very straight forward and I can take that. Adichie says in one of the interviews I link to that she didn’t want to gloss around the reality of the war, and she certainly doesn’t. One woman sees a mother carrying her child’s head in a bowl, another sees a running man’s head explode thanks to a shell that hit him, and there is at least one incident of rape. If you can’t handle matter-of-fact descriptions (there are many more bits of violence), by all means DON’T read this book! It could be very disturbing.

  3. Geoffrey
    Geoffrey October 25, 2010 at 10:28 am |

    I loved this story so well and I think Adichie intersected those sex scenes and other excesses so as not to burden the reader with solely the facts and figures of the war. Rebecca, would you agree with me?

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 26, 2010 at 7:09 am |

      Geoffrey, hmm, well I HATE novels that just through in sex to give it variety, so I think Adichie was doing more here. I think she wrote it as she did to show that war ISN’T just about war. That people keep loving, despite the horrors.

  4. nomadreader (Carrie)
    nomadreader (Carrie) October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am |

    I really want to read both this book and books by this author. It’s been recommended to me many times.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 26, 2010 at 7:09 am |

      nomadreader (Carrie), I hope you enjoy it! It’s very powerful.

  5. Erin
    Erin October 25, 2010 at 11:51 am |

    I really need to read Half of a Yellow Sun. It sounds like a book I’d like, as well as an important book. I’m not always the biggest fan of war books, but I think when they are well done I learn a lot from them.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 26, 2010 at 7:09 am |

      Erin, I think this is very well done!

  6. Steph
    Steph October 26, 2010 at 10:03 am |

    Fantastic review, Rebecca. I haven’t read anything by Adichie, but she is on my list of authors to try, especially after reading Eva’s effusive reviews, and now yours too. I think it’s great that you enjoyed this book so much and got so much from it, even when it contained elements that normally turn you away from a book. You’ve definitely bumped this one up my pile!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 27, 2010 at 6:54 am |

      Steph, yes I “enjoyed”, although “enjoyed” is probably the wrong word! It’s very hopeful.

  7. Amy
    Amy October 26, 2010 at 10:54 am |

    So glad that you enjoyed this book. Adichie is my favorite writer, she is just incredible. This is definitely a book to re-read time and time again!

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 27, 2010 at 6:55 am |

      Amy, I will have to reread it! Looking forward to more Adichie

  8. Suzanne
    Suzanne October 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm |

    I saw Adichie at Printer’s Row this summer and I agree she is a great speaker (and beautiful).

    I liked (didn’t love) this novel and I think it gives a perspective of Africa we don’t see — there is more than just poverty and war.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 27, 2010 at 6:59 am |

      Suzanne, cool that you saw her speak! Definitely a new perspective. I am enjoying reading about Africa. Always more to read :)

  9. Claire (Paperback Reader)
    Claire (Paperback Reader) October 27, 2010 at 6:53 am |

    I would like to reread this at some point because it is such a well-accomplished novel that will teach as much on further reading, I think. Very moving, powerful and sensitive.

    1. Rebecca Reid
      Rebecca Reid October 27, 2010 at 7:03 am |

      Claire (Paperback Reader), I agree, I think it will teach a lot on a rereading!

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