I have been struggling for a long time to find a GREAT book. I have grown weary of WWII books or books that read like “life time” movies. My perfect book has a great story, is well written and is about a unique subject matter. And here it is, finally, a “must read” book. “Americanah” is the story of Ifemulu, a woman from Nigeria, who leaves her country to attend college in America.
The observations she makes about her new life in America are thought provoking and at times laugh out loud funny. For example, she says that school in America is easy compared to school in Nigeria. The assignments are turned in by email, the professors are willing to give make up tests and a large part of your grade based on participation or in her mind “meaningless words.”
She describes at length the differences between being an “African Black” versus a “Non African Black” in ways that are funny yet leave you feeling uncomfortable. She goes on to say that when she lived in Nigeria race was not an issue and that she only came to think of herself as black when she came to America.
Throughout the novel she expresses herself and her opinions about race and culture in America through her blog which has topics that range from the serious such as the “ranking of black people in America” to the outlandish such as “how to deal with curly hair.”
This book made me think about things that I had not thought of before and has caused me to view the world differently. While it is a little bit long and there is not much action, I highly recommend it as a book that will solicit good discussion while keeping you entertained with the sweet love story between Ifemulu and her boyfriend. AND it has a happy ending.