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highly charged war epic

433 pages



Den scores



433 pages

As with many of our favourite authors, they are always more special when they absorb you in a country and period of history you know little about.  Half of a Yellow Sun is no exception as this stunning book follows the lives of five main characters during the Biafra Nigeria civil war of 1967-70. 


The story is portrayed through the intersection of three lives: Ugwa who arrives aged 13 from his village to work for Odenigbo, an arrogant and radical professor at the university. Olanna, the professor's privileged, well educated lover who is determined to be set apart from the rest of her family and Richard, an Englishman married to Olanna’s twin sister Kainene, from whom she has grown apart.  


The once highly charged intellectual evenings at Odenigbo’s house in Nsukka becomes a fight for survival as war ravages the country and they are forced to flee their former life as refugees. It is when the events of war and hardship cause all privileges to be removed and society to break down that book reveals who are able to cope and survive and those who sadly crumble and fade as their previous lives are overturned. 


A deeply moving and passionate novel that sweeps you away with these tragic events by telling the story through these differing characters in such an empathetic and humane way. Totally compelling.


There is a film adaptation starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton (2013) but sometimes a book has so much richness, you don’t need any other format.

     - for people who love books -

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