Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014
As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?
©2013 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
"Andoh's rich voice and distinct characters and rhythm keep the listener engrossed.... Andoh has fun adopting a mocking lilt for Ifemelu's snarky blog entries.... [and] a more serious tone brings authenticity to the heartbreak of Obinze's London experience." (AudioFile)
The book is a discussion on race built around the troubled love story of Ifemelu and Obinze.
I really enjoyed following the journey of Ifemelu and Obinze as they leave their native Nigeria to experience very different lives in America and the UK before yet another cultural experience by returning home again.
The author provides eye opening perspectives on race in the US, UK and Nigeria and makes it very clear that race is not much but in our heads.
Heavily addicted to the world Of books, exploring new styles that bring the author's fertile imagination from thoughts to print.
my most enjoyable experience ? I loved seeing the characters undergo this surgical transformation. Adichie knows what she is doing. Ifemelu and Obinze are two characters undergoing constant transformation. They have no game plan as it were. They just embraced life the way it happened to them. From the UK to the USA we see both Of them bending to forces beyond their control. In addition to being a test to their identity , this author has no regress, and rightfully too, when she describes in graphic details what her characters must do to survive .
i cant forget the moment Obinze realises he is better off than cleaning all sizes Of shit. His dignity at this moment takes a whole new meaning. .i think Adichie uses her two teenage lovers to make it clear that there is no damage from which we cannot recover.
Bold, audacious , witty
Nigerian names are not that easy to pronounce. That she accepts to dare trying merits her the adjectives above.
Ifemelu's meeting with the sports trainer. She had to pay her rents and would hate herself for doing what she did.
I love the blog posts. .this tells me that the epistolary forms and Blogs can conviniently be used to advance plot within the same novel.
I have listened to this book more than once. It embodies beauty and brain fused together. African literature should not be stuck in the past...this is a good piece of progressive experience of African literature. A masterpiece.
the blend of reality into fiction. It makes us of very functional definitions or essential issues like whiteness, racism, being black, Africans. A beauty comparable to the Mona Lisa!
good pronunciation of the names. Good reader.
When she defines whiteness as a norm.
If you are confused about race issues read this book. it makes use of very simple, low to earth example to explain very serious issues.
It was. The writing is great. I didn't love the way the person read it though.
Yes. I have so I already know her writing is strong.
The reader's American accents grated my nerves. No account for region and they all sounded like they were putting question marks at the end of sentences mostly. In this instance, since I didn't love the American characters already (a bit stereotyped and one dimensional - at best two dimensional, it made it worse.
Being South African - stories about race touch a nerve and I therefore found the descriptions of racism in America so interesting to read. There are so many similarities in what is suffered in our country and in what this story was about that it touched me very deeply.
The 'heroine' Adichie. She is so real and the novel felt like an autobiography. I identified with her continuously and felt every moment she talked about.
A Scene in a hair salon where she is having her hair braided. This is not something that many white people think about, how painful it is having your hair continuously pulled and the descriptions of the people in the hair salon were wonderful.
No, not really. It is a book that touched me deeply and made me feel very emotional so that I sometimes needed space between listening to chapters. But I finished it in four days, so I did not need too much space.
I highly recommend this book.
I work at a small college. I like humorous books and books where the main character triumphs. I do not like religious books or mysteries.
I loved this book. The story is very compelling and the reader does a wonderful job of bringing life to the characters.
No, this is the first time I have listened to any of Adjoa Andoh's performances.
I liked breaking this up into smaller sessions, so that I can enjoy it in small doses.
this portrayed two different themes - one is the coming of age in to maturation of a 20 year old bright young woman, and the other is the point of view on race of a non american black . Both points of view were interesting, well written, and complimented each other effortlessly.
I normally like Adichie’s style and stories, but this book felt different. The protagonists' story is engaging at the start, but then the narration turns into a lecture about racism. It felt as if the author wanted to make a point, and then bang it over your head again and again, and then some more. I don’t disagree with the points she’s trying to make, but rather with the delivery- if I’d wanted to be lectured about how white folks don’t realize they’re being racist, I would’ve read an essay. All the secondary characters seem to be exactly the same- arrogant, pretentious and unaware of their racism and ignorance about Africa, whether they are in the London or the US. One would expect more subtlety and skill from an author of this magnitude.
All in all, this novel is not remotely as engaging or insightful as Half of a Yellow Sun or The Purple Ibiscus and the tonal repetitions of similar episodes make the reading quite dull. I wish it had been much shorter or edited better, perhaps then I would’ve enjoyed it more. Still, not an entirely terrible listen, particularly thanks to the ability of the narrator, who displays a vast array of accents.
"Various observations about America by AnonAmerican"
Overall, a really enjoyable book! A well written book about the african diasporic experience in the states in the setting of a love story. The book exams race with evocative detail that i feel can be quite educational. Some of it being a little bit of an essay based on the authors opinion but overall, called to question how I think/feel about the subject, which can only be a sign of a great book! Also represents contemporary Nigeria and very proud of what this book and author represent. I'm of nigerian decent and as much I enjoyed listening to Adjoa, my only criticism is her nigerian accent especially pronunciation of nigerian names was not proper. Recommended reading!
"Fantastic delivery, great book"
The narrator is amazing with accents, able to convey nuance and variation, achieving a rare instance of the audio version having value added over reading the hard copy. The book covers a startling array of themes and subjects, giving so much material to engage with for reflection on ones own life.
"Captivating and beautiful"
Sharp critique of American and European societies, migration, and contemporary race relations, all wrapped in a fantastically written and captivating story. I couldn't stop thinking about this book for years after and it has to be one of the best works of fiction I've read in the past few years.
The narrator and her Nigerian accents were an added bonus because they helped to imagine how the protagonists would sound in reality.
"Lovely story and very good narration"
Came across this book only because I'd listened to Half of A Yellow Sun also narrated by Adjoa which I loved and wanted another narrated by her. I wasn't disappointed. Ìmpressed by her attempts at impersonating the different characters which were funny.
The story and main character were definitely the most enjoyable aspect.
Honest and enlightening portrayal of the main character's perspective.
Enjoy is perhaps not the right word, but I enjoyed how the author explored both extremes, the difficulties/despair and privileges/happiness that the character experienced.
There were consistently parts that were moving.
"a must read"
Not only a powerful book but so thought provoking and beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone.
"Really amazing book. Beautifully read."
Warm, Funny, Thought provoking
The main character
Not yet, but nearly finished Purple Hibiscus
No - its all good
Rich and vibrant. A gripping tale of love and identity and the movement of a person between two cultures. The narrator nailed it too - a great performance.
Loved the story, such an insight into life, relationships and race in Nigeria vs America. But particularly impressed by Adjoa Andoh, whose narration is always spot on.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.