A beautifully-told story about two people born in Nigeria who fall in love, move apart and have to make unexpected choices about their lives.
Ifemelu and Obinze meet as teenagers and fall in love. At the time, Nigeria is under military rule and people, especially students, are trying to leave if they can. Ifemelu is able to go to America to attend college and Obinze intends to follow her, but his visa application is continually denied. He eventually moves to London, but his life there is dangerous as he moves from job to job, undocumented. The two drift apart and start new lives.
Ifemelu finishes school, meets new friends and suffers many hardships and triumphs. In America, she experiences racism and the weight of being a certain race like she never experienced at home. She blogs about her observations, and eventually becomes a successful writer and speaker. Obinze returns to Nigeria and becomes a successful businessman. The pair reunite there when Ifemelu returns, and they must make hard choices about their future together.
I was blown away by this book and sad to put it down! Adichie is a beautiful writer who expertly weaves the two stories together although they span 20 years and many continents. This is a book that will make you stop and think about how you and others see the world.
I work in Adult Services and co-host Literary Libations: A Rusty Bucket Book Group. I enjoy reading and listening to audiobooks (of course!), yoga and cooking with my husband.