Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the ‚Äúrevolutionary professor‚Äù Odenigbo and his devoted houseboy Ugwu in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard, an English writer.
Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world. A sweeping romantic drama, Half of a Yellow Sun takes the sisters and their lovers on a journey through the war which is powerful, intensely emotional and, as the response of readers around the world has shown, it is a story which can touch everyone’s heart.