Half of a Yellow Sun

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781400095209 Global Overview for this book
Registered by FreePages of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on 12/16/2008
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 16, 2008
An Orange Prize winner and one of the 1001 must read books from the 2008 edition.

A blurb from the official website-
A masterly, haunting new novel from a writer heralded by The Washington Post Book World as "the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe," Half of a Yellow Sun recreates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria, and the chilling violence that followed.

With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves together the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. Thirteen-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor's beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna's twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and they must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.

Epic, ambitious, and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a remarkable novel about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race—and the ways in which love can complicate them all. http://www.halfofayellowsun.com/content.php?page=book&n=2&f=2



My thoughts
This didn't take me long to read. I found I was caught up in the lives of the main characters, even more so when the Biafran war really started to effect them.
I didnt know anything about the Biafran war when I started this book, it occurred when I was an infant in 1967-1970, a time in recent Australian history when most Australians were more concerned about our involvement in the Vietnam war. I think the Biafran war, at the time, did become synonymous with starvation in Africa once the photos hit the world media. This would have probably been one of the first war incited famines that was shown on TV. When I googled Biafran war, the images of pot-bellied, stick-legged African children came up and looked very familiar. It may just be that we see so many of these images now, but I seem to recall them from my faded memories of early black and white TV.

There is quite a bit to this book, including exerts of a book within it. Also most of the main characters are educated well off middle class people, sort of like most of us but within an African setting, and the way their lives are effected could well be the way we might be effected if our safe lives were upset by war. A very good read. Well deserving of its place on the 1001 must read list.

There are not many editions of this book registered on bookcrossing in Australia, so I think I will offer it as an Australian book ring early in 2009.


Paperback. 543 pages.

Journal Entry 2 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Bookring Completed

Only Australian participants :-)
Order of Participants is not set and subject to change ;-)

Participants

davemurray101 (Newcastle, NSW)
crimson-tide (Balingup, Western Australia)
bookseekerAT (Sydney, NSW)
Wodfest (Vic)
Elddau1 (Bungendore, NSW)
mummafour (SA)

...and back to Freepages (Canberra)=> Book is here

Journal Entry 3 by FreePages at Calwell, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, December 22, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (12/22/2008 UTC) at Calwell, Australian Capital Territory Australia

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The bookring has started!

Off to DaveMurray01 in the post today.

Enjoy :-)

Journal Entry 4 by davemurray101 from Lower Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Just recieved today from freepages with a great card and bookmark. Had to double take on the card where it said, 'Crimson-tide is now after you' (what have I done to her lol). Looks interesting and its going near the top of my TBR pile.

Journal Entry 5 by davemurray101 from Lower Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, December 29, 2008


Half a Yellow sun was a revelation. All I had previously known about the Biafra conflict was that it was the reason that John Lennon handed back his MBE. Gritty at times, especially towards the end. And reading more of the Biafra conflict - it seems quite resonant to a number of issues today. This book is justifiably one of the new additons to the 1001 books you must read before you die.

Will PM crimson-tide for her mailing details.

Journal Entry 6 by davemurray101 at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, December 29, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (12/29/2008 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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sent to crimson-tide in the post.

Journal Entry 7 by wingcrimson-tidewing from Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Thanks Dave, and FreePages. It's joined the pile.
So I'm no longer "after you" Dave. Awww . . . it sounded like it could have been fun!! ;-)

Journal Entry 8 by wingcrimson-tidewing from Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thanks for sending this book out on its journey FreePages, I am exceeding glad to have had a chance to read this wonderful story. Easy to read and so well written, Adichie has brought the Biafran war with its hate and ethnic cleansing and mass starvation and tragedy right to us so vividly. But in so doing it is not all hopeless. Characters shine through, hope shines through the hopelessness. It is not a book about war, it is about ordinary people in an extraordinary setting; their lives, their loves, their dreams.

I thought four of the five major characters were exceedingly well drawn, but just could not get to like or identify with Odenigbo at any stage, and felt the way he reacted was not very 'in character'. But then again, in times of war when such unbelievable atrocities are committed, I guess lots of us could behave 'out of character'.

The story really brought a tragic period of history home to me. Personal stories always illuminate the political background, and Adichie has woven this fictional human narrative into the facts so masterfully and compassionately that you feel almost that you know these people as friends. At the time, very few people knew precisely what was going on behind the Nigerian blockades. In writing this book, Adichie will ensure that many more people today know what happened, and hopefully will not forget.

Another fact about the Nigerian-Biafran War I learned, davemurray101 . . . it was as a result of this conflict that the organisation known as Médecins Sans Frontières ("Doctors Without Borders") came into being.


I'll be posting it off to bookseekerAT tomorrow.

Journal Entry 9 by wingcrimson-tidewing at Balingup, Western Australia Australia on Thursday, January 15, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (1/15/2009 UTC) at Balingup, Western Australia Australia

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Posting off to bookseekerAT to continue the ring.
Posting in Balingup, WA and arriving in Woolloomooloo, NSW hopefully not too long afterwards.
Hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 10 by bookseekerAT from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I have been away from work for a few days - this arrived while I was away (I sometimes have books sent to my work address as it is easier). I am really looking forward to reading it. Am halfway through something else at the moment, with only slow progress, but it is next on the list.
Thanks FreePages and Crimson-Tide.

Journal Entry 11 by bookseekerAT at Stanmore, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (3/3/2009 UTC) at Stanmore, New South Wales Australia

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What an amazing book! I knew nothing about these events, and now feel like I witnessed it alongside the characters. I'll be recommending the book to others.

Freepages - many thanks for sharing. Am posting it tomorrow to wodfest.

Journal Entry 12 by wodfest from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Friday, March 06, 2009
Caught!
Arrived in the post today and I will start it right away. Hopefully will be done within a week.

Journal Entry 13 by wodfest from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I really enjoyed this book and was savouring every page the further I progressed.
I found it to be a really compelling story and very cleverly structured to keep the reader questioning and interested.
I think I might try hunting down some of the books referred to at the back of this one and perhaps other national book critics circle and orange broadband candidate books.

I’ve pm’d Elddau1 for her address so it should be off in the post shortly.

Journal Entry 14 by Elddau1 from Yass, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Our nice Mr Postman delivered this to my doorstep this morning, safe and sound.
Thanks Wodfest!
and I really love 'The Little Traveller'! ;-) i've never seen them before. What a wonderful idea.

Thanks FreePages for the opportunity to read this.

Journal Entry 15 by Elddau1 from Yass, New South Wales Australia on Friday, May 29, 2009
An amazing book, revealing the human cost to the people caught in the Biafran War. I was surprised that this war lasted ‘only’ 3 years, from 1967-1970, as the impact for the people was so total - it seemed that the book covered a longer period, as so much happened.
This book was so well written and real to me that I grieved and was stunned by the events that overtook the people in the book.
At the beginning of the book though, I had questioned whether I would continue with it as I found the *characters* and their lives uninteresting. But that changed when their lives were overturned by the events of the war.
It is a coincidence for me that I only recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, written about another war and other ordinary people living through the horrors. I can’t help but compare the two books. But in this other, the Afghanistan war was played out as a backdrop to the domestic conflict that was brutal and shocking, and I was struck by cultural difference. In Half of A Yellow Sun, I felt the horror and trauma of the Baifran War deeply for the familiarity in the Biafran middle-classes. In both books though I was left deeply moved by the power of people to harm *and heal* other people.

Journal Entry 16 by Elddau1 at Bungendore, New South Wales Australia on Friday, May 29, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/29/2009 UTC) at Bungendore, New South Wales Australia

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On its way to another Australian bookcrosser by post - to mummafour, the next in the ring.

Journal Entry 17 by mummafour from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Thursday, June 04, 2009
Thank you Elddau1 i picked this up from the post office today. I will start on this straight away. Thanks also for the beautiful postcard :)

Journal Entry 18 by mummafour from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wow! I found this book hard to put down. I enjoyed all the characters that played a part in this family drama. Thank you FreePages for giving me the chance to read this wonderful book.

I posted this book back to you on the 30-06-09 :)

Journal Entry 19 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, July 02, 2009
Half of a Yellow Sun is home in Sunny Canberra again.
Thanks to everyone in the bookring for sending it on and for keeping it in such good condition.
I'm glad that everyone was able to get something out of this book.
It will probably remain in my permanent collection now for sometime and be passed around non-bookcrossing family and friends.

Cheers :-)

If anyone is interested in hearing more from this author she was in the country last month at the Sydney Writer's festival talking about her new book
Sydney Writers festival link: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2009/2580772.htm

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