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Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Title: Americanah

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Year Published: 2014

Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 588
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map) Nigeria, USA (MA, MD, PA, NY), UK

Summary (from Amazon): Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time.

Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. 

  This is one of those books I've meant to read for a really long time and I just listened to it with my daughter since it was assigned to her by one of her professors for the upcoming semester. It was great to listen to it with her as we could talk about it after each session.

Like with The Girl with the Louding Voice, having Adjoa Andoh as the narrator who does a fantastic job with the accents and dialects, is perfect. I have only read We Should All Be Feminists by this author, but I am super impressed.

This book is so well done! I love the story line and all of the characters (even the ones I didn't "like"). The way she uses the main character's blog as a vehicle to tell us her observations about race in the US are spot on, pointed, and just plain good. I could see these blog entries making some readers uncomfortable if they haven't thought about how racist the history of the US is. I also think it's interesting how, as a Nigerian, race wasn't an issue until she came to the US.

The relationships in this book are also done very well. Relationships with parents/children, lovers, colleagues, and more are spot on. And I loved her observations about everyday interactions, experiences, and feelings. As my daughter says, she puts words to feelings that you didn't know you felt.

Challenges for which this counts:
  • Big Book Summer
  • Diversity

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