Americanah opens with Ifemelu, living near the Princeton campus, planning to return to Nigeria. Over in Nigeria there is Obinze, Ifemelu’s high school and college boyfriend, who is currently married and doing quite well for himself. The story jumps back and forth between Ifemelu’s and Obinze’s present to their past stories, showing how they ended up where they are. While there is an overarching story happening, the novel felt more like snippets strung together, interwoven with thoughts and observations about immigration, race, people, and how culture shapes us (Ifemelu has a blog that punctuates these points). The presentation of cultures and the view of America from the outside were thought provoking and well done. I loved Adichie‘s writing and found myself getting lost in each section, not really caring where the plot was going.
Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok