Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah follows the lives of high school sweethearts Ifemelu and Obinze as they set their sights on dreams of living in the West. Through their time away from Nigeria they experience the harsh realities of racism and the struggles of living undocumented lives. Through all of the triumphs they have and the trials they go through, Obinze and Ifemelu never lose their feelings for each other as they explore race, identity, and a sense of belonging in new societies.

This novel is extremely well written, both because Adichie is incredibly skilled at writing fiction and because she does not sugarcoat the truth when it comes to racism and living as an undocumented citizen. The story is relatable, funny in all of the right places, and a truly heartwarming read.

Many of my favorite authors have mastered the art of scene writing, to the point where I can vividly picture places and people that I’ve never seen. Adichie is one of those masters for me. Her insight into Nigerian culture is all show and just enough tell, another skill that not many can master even after years of writing. You’ll feel right at home no matter where you are in the story, almost as if you’re experiencing everything right alongside the characters.

I appreciate Adichie’s honest and powerful story of love and triumph and the care she took to write such a beautiful work. If you can, this is definitely a wonderful read to have in your spare time. 

 

Ashley Graham, Lifestyle Editor