“That’s the problem. You read more about books than you read actual books.”
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: May 14, 2013
Rate: 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
I read Americanah back in 2018 and I still think about it from time to time.
I found this book quite insightful. Following Ifemelu’s transition from Nigeria to the US and back to Nigeria was interesting. I loved reading about her trying to figure out her identity, while figuring out who she is and what she wants. Chimamanda manages to write complex characters in a way that they feel relatable and memorable.
A little detail I found that I liked a lot is Ifemelu having a blog. I can’t explain why but it made me so happy.
“How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives that we have imagined.”
Time and again I have talked about Chimamanda’s writing and how brilliant she is and it’s no different in this book. It’s how she’s giving you a fictional story mirroring life and how uncanny it feels. We focus on the characters throughout the book and there are moments of storytelling that had me appreciative, hooked and engaged. I loved it!
I loved Ifemelu and Obinze’s love story. It gave friends to lovers vibe, and their interactions and conversations were such a treat. That ending though… I’m still mad.
Americanah is a book on race, identity, culture and love. A well told story that will have you asking so many questions, while at the same time being entertained. I highly recommend.