Half of a Yellow Sun, written by Chimamanda Adichie and published in 2006 is a book set in the sixties and tells the story of the Biafran war with the characters being victims of the war. The Biafran war also known as the Nigerian Civil War spanned a period of 2 years and 6 months (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970) resulting in the death of over a million.
Ugwu, a young teenager has just been employed by Odenigbo; a revolutionary (and a university lecturer) as his houseboy. Olanna, Odenigbo’s lover has just recently moved in with him much to the disapproval of her rich parents. Kainene, her twin sister has also just started dating, Richard; an Englishman with the love of Biafra in his heart. This book takes us through the trails faced by these characters amongst other charcaters and how the war really changed their everyday lives. It ends with Kainene going missing without any hope for her return.
Red was the blood of the siblings massacred in the North, black was for mourning them, green was for the prosperity Biafra would have, and, finally, the half of a yellow sun stood for the glorious future.
I enjoyed reading this book. It captures in detail the horror, sadness, starvation and every other thing that can be ascribed to a war. It was intriguing to read a fiction book based on a real-life event considering the fact that the only other book I had read about the Biafran war was Chinua Achebe’s non-fiction; There Was A Country.
~”You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man…Your life belongs to you and you alone”-Chimamanda Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun~