This is an excellent book but a complex one.
The previous book I read, The Purple Hibiscus, was mesmerizing and I was totally lost in the tale as told by a girl as she grew up. I just wanted to keep reading.
The writing here is excellent too but in this book the author seems to want to tell us more than the tale of two young people growing up. It’s as if she has an agenda of things to make us understand. It is not enough to present what it was like to grow up well-educated in Nigeria but to be unable to complete higher education (or do something with that education), how it feels to immigrate to the US or UK and to return to Lagos, which would be the story of these two young people.
Adiche also goes to great length to describe the peers at school, the co workers abroad, the immigrants who made it vs those who didn’t and the family members, presenting their point of view on every matter as well. As if there is a need to present every possible aspect of every subject.
In addition, Adiche emphasizes in great detail a perspective I haven’t really encountered before, one of the African new immigrant’s musings on race in comparison to African Americans who have been in the US for generations. There are some very thought-provoking passages.
It’s all very interesting but it is a long book and sometimes I felt that it was trying to encompass too much and I was sort of wishing it would move a little faster.
Nonetheless, a worthwhile read indeed.