The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her fanatically religious father. Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, prayer.
When Nigeria is shaken by a military coup, Kambili’s father, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends her to live with her aunt. In this house, noisy and full of laughter, she discovers life and love – and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family.
This extraordinary debut novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, is about the blurred lines between the old gods and the new, childhood and adulthood, love and hatred – the grey spaces in which truths are revealed and real life is lived.
I loved this book, Chimamanda Ngozie Adiche is one of my all time favourite authors. I have only read this one, Half of a Yellow Sun and We Should All be Feminists, but I think she is absolutely incredible.
I loved this book because of all the emotions that came with it, there was first love, anger and joy.
This book follows the story of Kambili and her older brother as they try to follow their fathers strict rules but when they go to stay with their aunt and cosuins, they find that there is more to life than rules and good grades.
They also get to see their grandfather who their father calls a ‘heathen’ due to his religious beliefs.
All of this occurs during the Nigerian civil war, when times are so uncertain Kambili and Jaja’s lives are uncertain along with the whole nations. In just a few short months Kambili and Jaja go from fairly innocent children to having experienced, seen and learnt more than they ever thought possible. They learn to relax. And they learn to be young again.
One of the things I reallly love about Chimamanda Ngozie Adiche’s books is that she uses bits of the Nigerian language throughout. I don’t know what they mean, but I can guess through context, and it makes the story seems even more realistic, almost as if you were there with them and just listening to the conversation.
The reason for the high rating is because in my opinion, this book is nothing short of stunning.