Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Club: Americanah

Goodreads Synopsis

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. 

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. 

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. 

Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.

Jollof rice - a favorite dish in the novel - prepared by our book club hostess.

When Americanah was selected as our book in April, I was quite intrigued.  The synopsis alone captured me.  I was SO excited to dive into this novel.  In all honesty, it took me a bit to get into it though.  For one, it is nearly 600 pages so I was a bit intimidated by the sheer volume.  Secondly, there was a significant amount of back story in the first few chapters that were necessary, but not quite as appealing as the remainder of the book.  Once Ifemelu moved to America, I was hooked.  I simply could not put it down.  I was engrossed in Ifemelu's non-American black (NAB as she calls it) view of race in America.  She proved spot on and extremely thought-provoking.

Tasty fried plantains our book club hostess prepared for the group!

Given the current state of our nation, I couldn't recommend a better book for anyone - of any race or nationality - to read.  The insight was phenomenal!  I loved so many aspects of the book, but my favorite was that Ifemelu (once integrated into America) becomes a blogger.  Her posts are scattered throughout the novel and drew me in that much more.  I can't say enough wonderful things about this book and the experiences it reveals.  If you are looking for a wonderfully written thought-provoking read, this is it!

Have you read any novels that made a true impact on you recently?

Andrea :)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such an interesting book! :) I love finding new titles to add to my (never-ending) TBR list! Thanks for sharing, Andrea.