This week I’m featuring Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a book club selection. I’m the one who will be leading the discussion, so I feel some pressure to read it carefully. I’m about half-way through it and I have to say its pretty good. Its the story of a young woman from Nigeria who comes to America to go to college. Her impressions are fascinating.
I’m sorry the first paragraph is so long, but I hope you’ll find it interesting:
Princeton, in the summer, smelled of nothing, and although Ifemelu liked the tranquil greenness of the many trees, the clean streets and stately homes, the delicately overpriced shops, and the quiet, abiding air of earned grace, it was this, the lack of a smell, that most appealed to her, perhaps because the other American cities she knew well had all smelled distinctly. Philadelphia had the musty scent of history. New Haven smelled of neglect. Baltimore smelled of brine, and Brooklyn of sun-warmed garbage. But Princeton had no smell. She liked taking deep breaths here. She liked watching the locals who drove with pointed courtesy and parked their latest-model cars outside the organic grocery store on Nassau Street or outside the sushi restaurants or outside the ice cream shop that had fifty different flavors including red pepper or outside the post office where effusive staff bounded out to greet them at the entrance. She liked the campus, grave with knowledge, the Gothic buildings with their vine-laced walls, and the way everything transformed, in the half-light pf night, into a ghostly scene. She liked, most of all, that in this place of affluent ease, she could pretend to be someone else someone3 specially admitted into a hallowed American club, someone adorned with certainty.
What do you think?
Would you keep reading?
Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.