This is an outstanding novel narrated in first person by Stevens, the butler. Of him one could say was born for the job, after his father also dedicated his life to the service of other lords before he did. Stevens is a particular person. Loyalty would be the perfect word to describe his personality, but also a bit of a sweet naivety. He worked for many years at Darlington Hall, Lord Darlington’s estate.
Only when I read this book I encountered the story of Emily Brontë and her sisters Anne and Charlotte. It is an inspiring story to say the least. Because despite being limited to the town of Yorkshire where they lived, Emily’s imagination was overwhelmingly rich since she was a young girl. That is so, that she would prefer to stay in her own imaginative world rather than to explore what was happening in her surroundings. Her biography states that the periods for when she left home to study in a boarding school in Cowan Bridge and later to become an assistant teacher at a school where very unhappy moments. Emily loved her home, her family, and the attachment to her two sisters is also seen in the writings before Wuthering Heights.
Before reading this book I had heard her name. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Orange Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (precisely for this book). She has been an honour guest at the Hay Festival in certain occasions. She is a writer with a long and wonderful career. A feminist with a lot to say in this subject, her feminist vision already contained in two books – Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions and We Should All be Feminist. All the books written by this great author have had great literary success. Half of a Yellow Sun is one of my favourites.
I have dedicated this week to Japanese authors. Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki. Although he was raised in England and all reviews refer to him as British, I do think it is precisely his Asiatic background what has allow him to write such beautiful pieces of literature.