The highly anticipated new novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of the vicious Nigeria-Biafra war in which more than a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood. During this turbulent decade, three characters are swept up in the rapidly unfolding political events. One is Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, who is employed as a houseboy for a university lecturer.
The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has come to live with the professor, abandoning her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the idealism and charisma of her new lover. And the third is Richard, a tall, shy Englishman who is in thrall to Olanna's twin sister, a remote and enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. When Olanna witnesses deeds of unimaginable horror in the outbreak of war, all of these characters are popelled into events that will pull them apart and bring them together in the most unexpected ways.
As Nigerian troops advance and they run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another. This extraordinary novel is about Africa itself, about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race, and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.