I love the way Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes, and I’m sure I’ll love every book she ever publishes. Her writing reaches a perfect balance of intellectual and accessible. It isn’t pretentious but is always very very smart. Her outlook on race relations in America is brutally honest, well-informed, and personal. I loved Americanah and enjoyed reading it. It’s long but went by quickly. I can completely understand other reviewers who found it a little too lecture-y (because it is a bit lecture-y), but I didn’t mind that being the case at all. I will happily sit and absorb everything and anything Adichie has to say because what she has to say is important and insightful.
Americanah is not another Half of a Yellow Sun. It does not elicit the same depth of emotion, because how could it? With Americanah, Adichie wrote with completely different goals in mind than with Half of a Yellow Sun. What was most thought-provoking to me in Americanah was how constantly aware I was that life is unpredictable and unfair. Not just unfair in the sense that whites have an upper hand in every situation (which is true, of course), or that those born into wealth have a billion more opportunities to create wealth than those who weren’t (also, of course, true), but unfair in the sense that, so often, the best things that happen to us happen on accident. As with the worst things. It’s a humbling reminder to acknowledge that everyone faces hardships – has good times and bad times – no matter their position in life or where they come from.