Somewhat fittingly, today being Nigeria’s Independence Day, I have just finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s beautiful novel Half of a Yellow Sun. The Biafran War — a devastating conflict that arose when many of Nigeria’s Igbo citizens in the southeast attempted to form their own nation, the Republic of Biafra — began a few years after Nigeria gained independence from Great Britain, and serves as the backdrop for the novel. Half of a Yellow Sun is truly one of the most enthralling stories I’ve ever read. I completely fell in love with the characters: the bold and compassionate Olanna; her strong-willed twin sister Kainene; Olanna’s radical, “revolutionary lover” Odenigbo; their unfailingly loyal houseboy Ugwu; and the sympathetic outsider Richard. It’s a powerful, highly emotional novel, a story about family, love and pride.