My Little Pocketbooks: Review: Americanah   

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Americanah

 
Americanah
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher:  Recorded Books
Release Date: July 19, 2013
Audiobook: 17 hours and 28 minutes
Narrator:  Adjoa Andoh
Source: Purchased from Audible

http://amzn.to/1zEayH7

Book Description

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.

Review

 This was a book club of the month selection and I am not sure I would have picked it up on my own.  There's a lot of hype around this (award winning) book and I have found too much hype not to be a good thing with some books.  But this book is so worth all the hype and accolades it has received.  If not more!
The story centers around Ifemelu (IF-E-MA-LU) a Nigerian student and her new love Obinze (O-BEN-ZAY) as they grow up together, dream together and go to school together.  That is until Ifemelu gets the chance Obinze has always wanted...to go to America.  Ifemelu comes to America with a lot of preconceived ideas about the country and quickly finds that race is important in all aspects of her new American life.   We see her build relationships, finally get a job and how she relates to her family members, fellow Africans who are already here in America.
This book was great and I loved the relationship aspects of the book the most.  Ifemelu's relationship with Obinze was fun and carefree.  He loved her and she held him accountable for it.  Obinze's relationship with his mother was interesting because they saw themselves as equals.  Not just mother and son.  Well most of the time.  That relationship was quite different from Ifemelu's and her parents.  They were typical parents and a bit separated from her and what was REALLY going on in her life.  Her mother's relationship with God and church was funny because I see it happening so many times with so many older women.  This book is great!  I highly recommend it if the discussion and opinions of race don't hurt your feelings.
I really liked about this book were the use of smell.  Some other authors have done this but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie did a great job of it.  She gave the cities of New York and Philadelphia a description and a distinct smell.  
Let me just list to you a few more things about my love for this book.  One, I love seeing America through the eyes of a non-America.  I love that she is a Blogger.  (I can relate.)  There are even blog post in the book.    
I read the book and listened to the audiobook on this one.  Half and half.  The narrator was really good.  I loved her accent and the pace she read at as well.  I would love to have had a male voice reading the chapters from Obinze.  Or just having a cast would have made it made it better.

Reviews by Other Bloggers

Recommendations

I recommend this book to older teen readers due to some sexual content.

Challenges

This book is number 19 in my Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 15 in my Off the Shelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 52 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge
Mocha Girls Read book of the Month

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