Nigeria has fascinated me for the past few years, thanks to Adichie, The other two books of hers have interested me greatly, and I was glad to discove...moreNigeria has fascinated me for the past few years, thanks to Adichie, The other two books of hers have interested me greatly, and I was glad to discover a different side to Nigeria, the one that is intelligent, rich and prosperous, not the one we are otherwise used to knowing, full of princes wanting to give us money over the internet or the one that we generally put in the same category that we reserve to African countries … that place in our heads that’s reserved for some pity, some shudder and a sigh at a lost continent.
This books does everything to keep up the image of Nigeria Adichie built in my mind so far. I like that fact that the main protagonists in this book are intelligent, well-educated and have normal childhoods. I like the fact that their parents are also educated and are working class. I like it that the children have gone to regular schools and have had rich classmates like the most of us. It makes me feel good, safe that in a land far, far away, people have lived happily, untouched from war, dread and terrorism. It appeals to the optimist in me. I like it a lot.
I love it that the characters are so well etched. That they long to leave their country in search of better lives and have the American dream. It makes me feel that youth has same aspirations no matter where they were born - a dream to travel far away and make something of themselves. It makes me believe that no matter what color we are, we are all the same somewhere deep within. The experiences each of the characters have during their time away from Nigeria are so similar to the experiences immigrants from any country have, like some of them from the lives of people we'd have known. Especially the pandering for the American visa or working odd jobs to fill the stomach, or making it big with blogs or finding someone to marry you so you can get the passport. This made the book very personal to me, that fact that people everywhere have the same immigrant troubles.
I love the narration of this book. I like the fact that I already know what Ifemulu and Obinze have been up to in their lives till the point of narration. I like how each incident in their past lives unravels itself as they are living their present lives… busy getting their hair done, or closing some business deals or visiting their friends. I like it that narration is honest and brazen, true to the characters of the main protagonists. I liked the imaginary lives I've built for both Ifem and The Zed, and they looked very beautiful to me in it, living their prosperous lives not thinking of each other, and slowly leaning towards each other.
This book is a story of two people who never really stopped loving each other. It’s a story of two people who are not together because the Universe didn’t let them be together, and its not either one's fault. It’s a story where instead of pining for each other forever, they carry on with their lives and lead fulfilling lives. It’s a story of hope and nostalgia, appealing to the romantic in me.
It’s a story of how strong or weak women can be, examples of each facet in one of the various characters, be it Aunty Uju or Obinze's mom or Ranyi or Giniko or Kim or Kosi. It appeals to the feminist in me, because Ifem is a strong character, and goes about doing everything she wants, goes out with anyone who fancies her and lives a full life. Yes, she pines for the great love of her life, but she doesn’t let that stop her from living. I like it that Obinze lives a full life but pines for Ifem very strongly, even when he is with her. His strong, calm nature adds to the allure and aura created around him... Who doesn’t like a strong, brooding man pining for a lady love, tell me? :-)
As the book was ending, and I was reading some of the best lines I've ever read about two people being in love, I wanted the book to last. The passion the protagonists feel for each other, the various ways in which they miss each other and the things they do to remember the other person are crazily normal, yet surreal, reminding you of the love they feel for each other , every minute.
And that’s when I realized I was in love. With this book. With Adichie, especially if as the claims go, Ifem is based on her. With the gift of reading for having brought me to this book. And with world, in general for having brought such beautiful books into being. Oh yes, am in love! :)
And I really wish someone made a movie out of this book, for the sheer joy of seeing such strong passion on screen! (less)
This is a love story narrated from a third person's perspective, right from talking about the emotions the protagonists feel for each other, to the wo...moreThis is a love story narrated from a third person's perspective, right from talking about the emotions the protagonists feel for each other, to the words they exchange with other characters in the book to their exchanges with rest of the works and their thinking. This is a unique way to tell a story, giving the author a lot of leverage to explore the story in ways not possible via conventional methods of story telling. Needless to say, I loved it.
I loved that neither of the main protagonists had to be bad people in this story, nor do others mentioned throughout. I loved that a certain familiarity with an undisclosed and unnamed village in one of the Arab countries is formed (I suspect it is Egypt) for the reader thanks to the story telling. I love that Julie is strong, didn't have to face the usual gender discrimination one faces in those countries and had the will to take some decisions.
Biz is a passionate, creative and people focused leader, and ask of that is reflected in the stories he tells in this book. I love the personal touch,...moreBiz is a passionate, creative and people focused leader, and ask of that is reflected in the stories he tells in this book. I love the personal touch, the honesty behind the emotions expressed in the book and the passion Biz showed through out his life to do the things he wanted to do. In his own way , Biz is like Steve Jobs, making his story from rags to riches, all the while being true to himself. Very inspiring.(less)
I didn't understand if I liked the book or not. I definitely liked the author's style, and the premise of the plot, but the pilot in itself is slightl...moreI didn't understand if I liked the book or not. I definitely liked the author's style, and the premise of the plot, but the pilot in itself is slightly weak. There wasn't enough in there to carry on for an entire book, and the different aspects of Alice's life that kept on popping up was a confusion. This book she gave me an idea of how life in Pakistan is for Christians. (less)
Such a brilliant book, remarkable storytelling, plot and wing. After a long time, this is one book that I had trouble putting down. Even after having r...moreSuch a brilliant book, remarkable storytelling, plot and wing. After a long time, this is one book that I had trouble putting down. Even after having read the book, am in deep at - at the story, the author, people of the tide country, the tiger and the dolphins.(less)
I loved, loved and absolutely LOVED the story-telling in this book. I love Allende's books because of the strong female protagonists, and the importan...moreI loved, loved and absolutely LOVED the story-telling in this book. I love Allende's books because of the strong female protagonists, and the importance she gives in detailing their every single emotion.
I guess its now a recognizable quality in books by South American writers that the story is apparent in the first few pages. You just read on for the pleasure of reading and driven by the curiosity of how the plot unfolds, but certainly to not know how the book ends!(less)
If you had an imagery of an enchanted place , then this is not it. But this book definitely paints some picture in your mind, and it is indeed an ench...moreIf you had an imagery of an enchanted place , then this is not it. But this book definitely paints some picture in your mind, and it is indeed an enchanted place. The story is narrated from the perspective of a book-lover who doesn't talk, and just reads a lot. The story is about a jail warden, a death row investigator, a convict on a death row, a guard in the prison and prison life in general. And also about a happy place in nature you can totally picture yourself in. And about the enchantment a prison can contain without being magical. And about the deep pain felt in losing your loved one. And a slight not-so-welcome peek into the minds of people who don't have a desire to live, and yet cherish what they have. (less)
A very regular John Green fare. If you've read one novel by him, you've more or less read them all... He follows a template - screwed-up teens, high s...moreA very regular John Green fare. If you've read one novel by him, you've more or less read them all... He follows a template - screwed-up teens, high school, some morbid element. (less)
Oh my God! If reading a book is a pleasure, then Winterson makes me wonder how much fun she might have had writing this one. Such an imaginative geniu...moreOh my God! If reading a book is a pleasure, then Winterson makes me wonder how much fun she might have had writing this one. Such an imaginative genius!(less)