Sunday 27 December 2015

Americanah Review
I thought I'd start with one of my favourite quotes in Americanah "It's a novel, right? What's it about?" Why did people ask "What's it about?" as if a novel had to be about only one thing. Ifemelu disliked the question; she would have disliked it even if she did not feel, in addition to her depressed uncertainty, the beginning of a headache. 

This is how I feel about my book reviews. I know I'm not good at them. I rarely write what the book was about, but instead focus on my thoughts and feelings about the book. Probably not the most fun thing to read, but it's what I like to write.

This is a story about a Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. to complete her university degree, becomes a U.S. citizen and then returns to Nigeria after 13 years. It is also a love story about the boy she leaves behind, their estrangement and eventual reunion. I found the observations of life in Nigeria and a Nigerian's observations of American culture to be very eye-opening. Half-way through the book; however, I began to distrust the narrator's continually scorching judgement of people and culture. I'm not sure if it was because the main character became more hardened and bitter as well as depressed or if the book was just a tad too long.

A few chapters also focused on Ifemelu's boyfriend's experience in England and Nigeria. I felt this gave the book further scope and depth. I was glad for this perspective.

Despite the length of the book, it was a quick read with lots of dialogue and anecdotes. The tone was conversational and engaging. I feel like I learned a lot and, in spite of Ifemelu's faults, she was an endearing, intelligent and compelling main character. I'm curious now how much of this novel was based on the author's experiences. I know you're not supposed to wonder this, but it seemed very real.


  1. I like reading your reviews, and I think knowing what someone was feeling and thinking during the book is important to knowing whether you might like the book! Reviews without that are just dry and boring to me. This sounds like a really interesting read, I'm going to have to put it on my list (hey, it can be my Africa book for my challenge!!).

    1. Thanks Katie for the encouragement! It would be a great book to add to your list. Good luck with that book challenge!