I finally went ahead and did it. For sometime now, I have been a bit reluctant in reading Chimamanda’s novel “Half of a Yellow Sun”. I usually steer clear of African books that focus too much on conflict and tragedy. Personally, I believe we need more positive books and role model characters that can make the transition from books to films. I also believe we need to submit more challenging stories as possible winners of the Pulitzer, Caine and other international awards out there for burgeoning and established writers.
I’m still waiting to see “No Longer at Ease and A Man of the People” on the big screens. My leading man for both books would be Ramsey Nouah. Yeah! he’s a gorgeous hunk, but from what I have seen over the years while following his career as an actor, he has finally come of age and matured into fine wine. That’s the best analogy I can make. Watch ‘The Figurine” and you’d catch my drift. What were my conclusions after reading this book?
I actually haven’t finished but i’m almost through. I’m currently at the chapter denoted “The Sixties”. I found it a bit disturbing and hauntingly sad. War or conflict always leaves a scar that never heals. It is often said that “time heals all wounds”. However, there are some wounds that time cannot heal. Experience has taught me that. I also found some aspects of the book hilarious. Ugwu was such an entertaining character and likewise Miss Adebayo. I realise that this is a touchy subject in the history of this country and I like the way and manner Chimamanda has cataloged the tragedies of war. I also realized that we are yet to learn our lessons. The aftermath of war did not just start now, it has been a thorny issue since post independence and we are yet to deal with this issue once and for all. This is why we still have recurring hostilities within our various communities.
Kainene and Olanna, two sisters (twin) torn apart by their own selfish acts and parental neglect. We see this often and it’s good to know that books such as this are talking about sibling rivalry. It exists no matter how much we try to deny or avoid talking about the issue. I found Olanna a bit selfish and self absorbed due to unwarranted and warranted attention to physical beauty. Behind that beauty also lay a lot if insecurities which was evident in her relationship with Odenigbo and her refusal to tie the nuptial knot, which she eventually did. I also thought it amusing when she tries to create an image of humility when it’s so obvious that she’s so uppity. Kainene who had been described as the ugly duckling seemed to be more sensible even though she’s a bit withdrawn and rarely gets emotional. It happens if you’ve constantly been overlooked and denied of some things based on your physical features.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable read. I just might buy my own copy.