This is how I feel about my book reviews. I know I'm not good at them. I rarely write what the book was about, but instead focus on my thoughts and feelings about the book. Probably not the most fun thing to read, but it's what I like to write.
This is a story about a Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. to complete her university degree, becomes a U.S. citizen and then returns to Nigeria after 13 years. It is also a love story about the boy she leaves behind, their estrangement and eventual reunion. I found the observations of life in Nigeria and a Nigerian's observations of American culture to be very eye-opening. Half-way through the book; however, I began to distrust the narrator's continually scorching judgement of people and culture. I'm not sure if it was because the main character became more hardened and bitter as well as depressed or if the book was just a tad too long.
A few chapters also focused on Ifemelu's boyfriend's experience in England and Nigeria. I felt this gave the book further scope and depth. I was glad for this perspective.
Despite the length of the book, it was a quick read with lots of dialogue and anecdotes. The tone was conversational and engaging. I feel like I learned a lot and, in spite of Ifemelu's faults, she was an endearing, intelligent and compelling main character. I'm curious now how much of this novel was based on the author's experiences. I know you're not supposed to wonder this, but it seemed very real.