Half Of A Yellow Sun

By this time next week, I will (fingers crossed) be lost in that strange no man's land between perfect bliss and total exhaustion that is the first few days of motherhood.

So I wanted to make sure the last book I read before my nights became someone else's was a memorable one - and Half Of A Yellow Sun was certainly that.

Set against the background of the brutal war between Nigeria and Biafra (in which the author lost both her grandfathers), it is a meditation on the devastation war wreaks on the lives of ordinary people.

But is it so much more: it is also a love story, a study of the relationship between two sisters and, in its treament of issues of ethnicity, class, moral responsibility and of course the legacy of colonialism, the story of Africa itself.

I loved it in part because I learned something from it - the history of 1960s post-colonial Africa is not a hot topic in Australian classrooms.
But mostly I loved the relationships between the different characters and how they are affected by the political upheaval going on around them.

This is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's second book - and if you enjoyed her first, Purple Hibiscus, then you will definitely like this.

I just hope I have found time to start reading again by the time she publishes her third one.