I’m certain that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s engrossing novel Americanah will top my personal list
of the best books of 2014. Americanah follows the lives of two
Nigerian students as they make their way in the world; Ifemelu and Obinze fall
in love as teenagers and make a plan to spend their lives together, but
circumstances lead them to places and situations they wouldn’t have imagined. Ifemelu heads to the U.S. to study and finds
herself confronted by a culture of racism and classism, while Obinze struggles
to survive as an undocumented worker in London.
They are very well-crafted characters—this is one of those rare books
where the characters seem utterly genuine and real. The novel offers a profound
discussion of race, immigration, and homeland without being heavy-handed; it is
a must read for fans of literary fiction.