Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Review: Americanah

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie is an excellent writer. Her use of language is superb, and she is so insightful. This is the story of a woman who grows up in Nigeria, then moves to USA, then back to Nigeria. She meets various people, tries to make a life while being very cash-poor, works her way up, all the while observing relationships, USA culture, and marveling that she never "felt black" until she moved to America. Race was a much bigger thing in USA than she was ever used to experiencing in Nigeria. Her observations were astute and eye-opening. Upon her return to Nigeria, she once again makes brilliant observations of the changes and the culture that she had left many years before.

I wanted to love this book, and I sort of did upon finishing it. However, I struggled to get through it because it's long, and there were times when I found it difficult to put up with what was happening. I love the great writing, the main character at times, and the thoughtful insights that helped me see things more clearly. The sloggy parts make me give it a 4 rather than a 5 (out of a possible 5). Two other books by this author were awesome; this one a little less so.

[My favorite by this author is Half of a Yellow Sun.]

1 comment:

Nann said...

I wouldn't have read Americanah, but I received the audio edition to review for Library Journal. I agree that it was very, very long -- but many of the observations were wickedly pointed and sometimes funny. (And, oh, the narration! African-accented English is wonderful to listen to.)

I left my current book at the salon yesterday. Instead of reading I ended up talking during my pedicure . . . must remember to stop by to retrieve the book today!