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Americanah Summary


Here you will find a Americanah summary (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

Americanah Summary Overview

A Nigerian woman residing in Princeton, New Jersey, Ifemelu, finds herself on the verge of returning to her home country. Having parted ways with her boyfriend, Blaine, and disengaged from her well-known blog on racial issues, she feels drawn back to her origins and her first love, Obinze. Now affluent and settled in Lagos with a wife and daughter, Obinze's life is disrupted upon hearing from Ifemelu. Despite his beautiful and loving wife, Kosi, Obinze acknowledges the emotional bond he shared with Ifemelu was far deeper. The story then transports us to the past where Ifemelu and Obinze's love story began, their paths diverging as Ifemelu moved to America for her studies. Struggling to find employment because of her student visa limitations, Ifemelu is driven to desperate measures which result in her isolating herself from Obinze out of guilt. Economic circumstances improve for Ifemelu when she begins work as a babysitter for Kimberly, a well-off woman. She is introduced to Kimberly's cousin, Curt, who is instantly attracted to her. Their ensuing relationship facilitates Ifemelu's career progression and helps her secure a work permit. During this time, Ifemelu learns to love her natural African hair, a symbolic journey of self-acceptance. Meanwhile, Obinze's struggle as an illegal immigrant in London contrasts with Ifemelu's life. His attempt to establish a green card marriage ends in deportation. Back in America, Ifemelu's relationship with Curt falls apart and she begins to blog about her experiences as a Black woman in America. She soon crosses paths with Blaine, an African-American professor, and they begin a romantic relationship that is marked by both personal and societal issues. Ifemelu's world is rocked when she learns her cousin, Dike, has attempted suicide, prompting her return to Nigeria. There, she reconnects with Obinze, their lingering emotions reigniting. As they navigate their complicated circumstances, they confront each other about their past and their expectations for the future. Their relationship rekindles, causing tension in Obinze's marriage. Considering Ifemelu's accusations of cowardice, Obinze chooses to leave his wife and confront the facades of a seemingly happy marriage. Despite the complexities, the story ends with Obinze standing at Ifemelu's door, determined to be a part of her life.

chapter 1

Ifemelu, an immigrant from Nigeria, anticipates her train from Princeton, New Jersey to Trenton for a hair braiding appointment. The absence of such salons in predominantly white Princeton prompts her reflection on her race blog, now closed as she prepares to return to her homeland. The responses to her posts have driven her to question her beliefs, and the quest for fresh content left her feeling false and exposed. Upon her arrival in Trenton, she observes the differing body sizes of the passengers, a concept she only recently reacquired after an insult flung at her in a grocery store. This incident, coupled with the realization of her own weight gain and feeling burdened, compels her to rethink her life in America. Her thoughts often drift to Obinze, her first love now living in Lagos with his family, and the comfort and ease she used to feel with him. Her recent breakup with her current boyfriend, Blaine, was tough since she couldn't articulate her feelings of discontent in their relationship. At the salon, her hair is braided by Aisha, a Senegalese woman who is in a relationship with two Igbo men. Aisha's surprise at Ifemelu's Igbo heritage and her question about inter-Igbo marriages are met with disagreement from Ifemelu. Amidst this, she sends a quick email to Obinze. The salon women are both impressed and shocked when they learn of Ifemelu's Princeton residence and her impending return to Nigeria, expressing doubt about her readjustment after such a long stay in America. When asked about a romantic interest back home, Ifemelu fibs and says there is. Aisha's persistence to prove her point about Igbo marriages prompts Ifemelu to consider the pressure immigrant life puts on people, a topic she would have explored on her blog, had it been still active.

chapter 2

Obinze finds an email from Ifemelu, who addresses him by her old pet name for him, Ceiling. His mind fills with jealousy as he thinks about her boyfriend in America. While on the phone with his wife, Kosi, he realizes that she always updates him with her whereabouts, even when he doesn't inquire. He heads home to his house filled with luxury items such as imported Italian furniture and air conditioning. A contradiction to his wife's generalized belief, their house helper is from Benin, not Nigeria. His beautiful wife, often mistaken for mixed-race, and their toddler daughter, Buchi, welcome him. He casually deceives Kosi about the progress of his property sale. He frequently tells her minor untruths to see if she challenges them, but she seems more interested in maintaining their lifestyle. Getting ready for Chief's party, Obinze dons the outfit Kosi selected. After his return from England, his cousin Nneoma introduced him to Chief, a rich businessman she was tactfully charming but not intimate with. Through her efforts, Obinze ended up with a prosperous job in real estate. At the party, other guests discuss the type of schooling for Buchi and Obinze, irked, states that they all were educated under a Nigerian curriculum. Everyone is taken aback by his comment, but Kosi skillfully handles the situation. While driving back home, Obinze reflects on how Kosi has become possessive since their marriage. Her church encourages prayers to keep husbands faithful and she is wary of single women. Before retiring for the night, he listens to music by Fela, a favorite of his and Ifemelu's, while drafting another email to her.

chapter 3

In a look back at Ifemelu's younger years, her mother becomes a devout follower of Guiding Assembly, a Christian church that emphasizes wealth and prosperity. She continually prays for the wellbeing of The General, a key figure who has chosen Ifemelu's Aunty Uju as his mistress. Ifemelu's mother refers to him as Aunty Uju's mentor, conveniently overlooking their intimate relationship. At the same time, Ifemelu's father is out of work. His attempts to secure a new job prove unsuccessful causing him to retreat into depression and neglect basic hygiene. Ifemelu's mother attributes their misfortunes to evil forces. Ifemelu's father communicates in a British accent and uses sophisticated vocabulary, seemingly to compensate for his lack of an ideal education. As his joblessness persists, the family's rent arrears accumulate. When Ifemelu plans to visit Aunty Uju's estate, a gift from The General, she crosses paths with a high-ranking church woman. She refuses to assist in the creation of paper garlands for Chief Omenka, branding him as corrupt. The woman accuses Ifemelu of shirking divine duties, to which Ifemelu retorts that the woman and her mother are using faith as a blindfold against reality. After her father points out her history of defying authority, leading to a tarnished school record, her mother implores Aunty Uju to guide Ifemelu towards better behavior. Aunty Uju has consistently been a guiding figure in Ifemelu's life, providing practical advice throughout her adolescence. Following the church incident, Aunty Uju once again imparts wisdom to Ifemelu, advising her that it is not necessary to voice every thought.

chapter 4

Obinze's arrival at Ifemelu's school sparks gossip. He's rumored to have transferred due to his mother's quarrel with a fellow professor at Nsukka University, making him immediately interesting. He's expected to pursue Ifemelu's friend, Ginika, admired for her beauty and mixed-race heritage. Kayode, the school's most popular boy, plans to introduce Obinze to Ginika at an upcoming soiree. However, at the gathering, Obinze struggles to connect with Ginika. Instead, he finds himself drawn to Ifemelu, who surprises him with a candid question about his attire. They spend the night dancing and conversing. Obinze reveals his long-standing admiration for Ifemelu, attracted by her love of books and her assertive nature. When Ifemelu reminds him of the expected interest in Ginika, Obinze tellingly replies, “I’m chasing you.” This candidness and the comfortable way he makes her feel leads to a mutual attraction and a shared kiss. From that point, they become an undividable pair.

chapter 5

Ginika's family's move to America is easy due to her American passport, making her popular among other students. Ifemelu feels uneasy about this, fearing that her lack of foreign prospects and her blunt personality might push Obinze towards Ginika. Ifemelu is invited over to Obinze's house by his mother, who jokingly compares herself to the Nigerian singer Onyenka Onwenu and tries to find an English equivalent for Ifemelu's name. Obinze's mother gently teases him about his preference for American literature and his belief that America represents the future. Following an almost compromising incident involving Ifemelu and Obinze, his mother advises them to delay their sexual relationship until college. She asks Ifemelu to inform her when they become intimate so she can ensure they're being careful. This conversation leaves Ifemelu feeling a bit uncomfortable, but not embarrassed.

chapter 6

Aunty Uju diligently caters to The General's beauty standards and preferences, spending her earnings on skin lightening creams and undergoing expensive beauty treatments, including shaving her pubic hair because The General finds it "disturbing." Ifemelu's family is burdened with a demand for two years of rent, and Ifemelu takes it upon herself to ask Aunty Uju for financial assistance. She discovers that Aunty Uju relies on The General for money, as her medical job, arranged by The General, doesn't pay her. This situation leads to Ifemelu worrying about her aunt. Aunty Uju admits her fortune in finding The General and points out how Nigeria's economy is dependent on pleasing influential people. She successfully secures the rent money from The General. Ifemelu, upon meeting The General, does not like him at all due to his crude behavior. The General appreciates Aunty Uju for her unique interest in books. When Aunty Uju becomes pregnant, she decides to have the baby. The General, proud of his virility, arranges for her to give birth in America. They have a son, Dike. Tragedy strikes when The General dies in a suspicious plane crash, allegedly orchestrated by the head of state. The General's wife swiftly turns against Aunty Uju. With the help of friends, Aunty Uju and Dike escape under the cover of darkness and migrate to America.

chapter 7

Ifemelu and Obinze are both students at Nsukka University. Obinze is living in his family's house while his mother has returned to Nsukka, and Ifemelu resides in the campus dormitories. The university frequently shuts down due to faculty strikes over unpaid salaries. One such strike forces the students to return home. In Nsukka, during a heated moment, Obinze proposes they have sex. Ifemelu is apprehensive about the possibility of pregnancy, but Obinze reassures her that they could start a family if needed. When Ifemelu experiences a stomachache a week later, she panics, confiding in Obinze and calling Aunty Uju. Obinze's mother accompanies Ifemelu to a doctor who determines it's appendicitis. She recovers post-surgery at Obinze's house. Later, Obinze's mother advises the pair to use condoms. She tells Ifemelu not to depend on any boy for protection and encourages her to buy her own condoms. Obinze leaves in a huff.

chapter 8

Academic strikes become a frequent occurrence, prompting numerous students to pursue their studies overseas. Aunty Uju urges Ifemelu to join them and move to America to continue her education and help look after Dike. Influenced by Obinze's extensive understanding of America, she concurs. She gets assistance from Ginika in applying to numerous educational institutions. The life she's observed on American TV starts to shape her aspirations. Ifemelu's applications are successful and she secures a visa on her first attempt. In preparation for her departure, she lets her friends pick items from her clothing collection, marking a poignant transition for anyone leaving Nigeria. Prior to her leaving, Obinze's mother advises Ifemelu and Obinze to plan to reunite at a suitable time.

chapter 9

Upon Ifemelu's arrival in America, she experiences a heat wave and encounters the harsh realities of Aunty Uju's impoverished Brooklyn life, which starkly contrast the image she had formed of America from television. Aunty Uju invites Ifemelu to live with her over the summer, babysit Dike, and then secure a job when she transitions to university in Philadelphia. As Ifemelu's student visa doesn't permit her to work, Aunty Uju convinces her friend Ngozi to let Ifemelu use her social security card, requiring Ifemelu to assume Ngozi's identity. Aunty Uju, weary and irritable, adopts an altered accent when conversing with white Americans, tolerates the mispronunciation of her name, and behaves submissively towards them. She strictly forbids Ifemelu from conversing in Igbo with Dike due to her fear of confusing him. Juggling three jobs while tending to Dike has resulted in Aunty Uju failing her medical licensing exam. This disappoints Ifemelu, who had assumed Aunty Uju's life in America was more comfortable since these struggles were never discussed in their phone conversations.

chapter 10

Throughout her summer in Brooklyn, Ifemelu anticipates understanding the “real America” in her upcoming university experience. She forms a close relationship with a nearby Grenadian couple, Jane and Marlon, whose children interact with Dike. Jane voices her concerns about their kids adopting Black American behaviors, confusing Ifemelu who fails to grasp what this implies. Ifemelu is intrigued by the advertisements on TV because they portray the pristine and appealing image of America she yearns to understand. She is, however, alarmed by the crime stories covered in the news. To comfort her, Aunty Uju explains that America just seems more perilous because Nigerian TV doesn't present crime reports.

chapter 11

Aunty Uju begins a relationship with a Nigerian immigrant Bartholomew, who has embraced American pronunciations and shows little interest in Dike. Bartholomew, who expresses his views on the Nigerian Village website, criticizes Nigerian women for abandoning their cultural norms in America. He accuses any woman who disagrees of western brainwashing. Ifemelu tells Aunty Uju about Bartholomew's use of skin-lightening creams and suggests he wouldn't even dare to approach her in Nigeria. Yet, Aunty Uju defends the relationship, arguing that they are not in Nigeria and she wants Dike to have a brother or sister. Aunty Uju accomplishes passing her medical licensing exam and plans to straighten her hair, as braids are deemed unprofessional in America. This change unsettles Ifemelu, making her feel Aunty Uju is losing her identity. In his letters, Obinze proposes that Aunty Uju's changes may be due to the insecurity immigrants often feel, leading to a sense of obliged gratitude. Upon Ifemelu's departure for Philadelphia, she scrutinizes Ngozi’s driver’s license and social security card. Although she doesn't resemble Ngozi, Aunty Uju insists that to white Americans, all Black people appear the same.

chapter 12

Ginika welcomes Ifemelu when she arrives at the bus station, providing her with tips on adjusting to American life and inviting her to a social gathering. At the event, Ifemelu is perplexed about how the other ladies intuitively grasp cultural signals and shared humor. She becomes anxious about her finances, to the point of rejecting a necessary winter coat. As Ifemelu helps Ginika select a dress, she contemplates if residing in America will alter her preferences as it has Ginika’s. When the cashier can't differentiate between two salesgirls, one Black and one White, based on their hair color, Ginika comments that Americans often feign ignorance about race. Settling into an apartment with fellow students, one of whom, Elena, owns a dog. When Ifemelu declines to pet her dog, Elena questions if her refusal is cultural, but is taken aback when Ifemelu reveals it's just a personal dislike. Ifemelu finds it peculiar when her housemates assume everyone can afford to dine out without asking. Attempting to mingle with her flatmates, Ifemelu is struck by the cultural differences.

chapter 13

Despite her best efforts to secure employment, Ifemelu is met with constant rejection. This results in self-guilt, and financial strain as she struggles to cover basics such as food and tuition. The arrival of junk mail, which bears her name, provides an unexpected yet genuine sense of existence.

chapter 14

Being spoken to as if she couldn't comprehend English by Cristina Tomas, the office receptionist, triggers Ifemelu to mimic an American accent. Obinze proposes that she read American literature to better her understanding. By reading James Baldwin, she learns more about what she terms as "America's tribalisms" such as race, religion, and ideology, and starts to adopt American ways of speaking and acting. In class, a debate about the movie Roots arises when Wambui, a Kenyan student, questions why the n-word was censored, claiming it wipes out historical context. This sparks disagreement amongst the Black American students. One student's argument against Wambui points out that it was Africans who sold Black Americans' forefathers into bondage. Wambui later asks Ifemelu to join them at an African Students Association (ASA) meeting. The ASA meeting sees students making fun of the typical questions posed by Americans, while also humorously criticizing Africa. They make a distinction between American African students, those who immigrated at a young age or have parents who did, and African American students, who are Black Americans. Ifemelu is taken aback when Aunty Uju moves to Massachusetts to marry a man named Bartholomew.

chapter 15

Ifemelu has a job interview with a tennis coach for a personal assistant role. The coach tells her there are two vacancies, one administrative and another with unclear duties, with the former already filled. Ifemelu feels uneasy and asks for time to consider the offer. Ginika's coworker, Kimberly, needs a nanny and is willing to pay Ifemelu off the books to avoid any legal issues. During the interview with Kimberly and her sister, Laura, Ifemelu notices Kimberly's fascination with foreign cultures, which she perceives as merely non-white cultures. The family home is filled with art from various ethnicities. Kimberly mentions a family trip to India and emphasizes the happiness of even impoverished individuals. Kimberly's husband, Don, arrives home unexpectedly, causing Kimberly to become submissive. Ifemelu doesn't land the job. Facing a looming rent deadline, Ifemelu contacts the tennis coach out of desperation. She firmly states that she won't engage in sexual acts, but he insists on physical contact only. She feels extreme shame after the encounter and ends up ignoring a message from Obinze. She subsequently deletes all his communications, skips her lectures, and ceases contact with her family and Aunt Uju. Through a roommate, Ginika reaches Ifemelu, expressing concern for her well-being while sharing that Kimberly's nanny has quit and she wants to hire Ifemelu. The following day, Ginika escorts a reluctant Ifemelu to Kimberly's residence. Ginika suggests to Ifemelu that she might be suffering from depression, but Ifemelu dismisses the idea, associating the condition with Americans only.

chapter 16

Despite telling herself she will answer Obinze's message after a month, Ifemelu can't bring herself to do it when the time comes. She distances herself from Nigerian news as it makes her think of Obinze. During her babysitting duties for Kimberly's kids, she notices that Kimberly's daughter, Morgan, behaves well around her, despite usually causing trouble for Don. At some point, Laura reveals to Ifemelu her plan to change her daughter's doctor to a Nigerian one, as she has read that Nigerians are the most educated immigrants. Laura even compares this doctor to a Ugandan woman she met in grad school, saying that this woman was not like other Black Americans. Ifemelu points out that when Black Americans were still fighting for their voting rights, the Ugandan woman's father was attending Oxford. This comment offends Laura, leading Ifemelu to apologize. In a gathering hosted by Kimberly and Don, the guests share tales of all the charity work they do in Africa. This continuous talk of charity makes Ifemelu wish she was among the givers and not categorized as an assumed recipient. Dike asks Aunty Uju why he does not bear his father's surname and if his dad loved him, but Aunty Uju doesn’t reveal the truth. Relocating to Massachusetts was challenging for Dike. Aunty Uju often scolds him, warning him she'll return him to Nigeria if he misbehaves. Dike is the only Black student in his class, and his teacher accuses him of acting aggressively. Although Aunty Uju points out that Dike’s behavior might be seen as more disruptive due to his race, the principal maintains they do not consider race.

chapter 17

Ifemelu settles into her new apartment. When a telemarketer praises her for her American accent, she makes a decision to let go of it, questioning why she views it as a victory. She encounters Blaine, a Black American academia, on her way to see Aunty Uju. They engage in flirty conversation and swap contact details. Ifemelu reaches out to him after her train journey but he doesn't reply. Aunty Uju expresses her struggle with being a Black woman in a predominantly white city. She reveals that her patients doubt her doctor credentials, with one even requesting a different doctor. Bartholomew is always absent. Despite this, Aunty Uju stays for the possibility of having another child. Dike has become more withdrawn, sharing with Ifemelu that he was excluded from sunscreen application at camp because of his skin color and expresses his desire to be "regular." The section concludes with a blog entry from Ifemelu where she dissects the four forms of tribalism in America: class, ideology, region, and race. She elaborates that white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) consistently hold the highest rank in the racial hierarchy while Black people perpetually occupy the lowest. The standing of the rest varies.

chapter 18

Within the hair salon, the hair braiders question a South African client about her lack of an accent. She states it's due to her long duration in America. When they question Ifemelu's accent, she stays silent, questioning her decision to return to Nigeria. Soon, a Caucasian woman, Kelsey, walks in, wanting her hair braided. She makes uninformed assumptions about the shop owner's appreciation for American opportunities and wonders if voting is permitted for women in her home country. Kelsey criticizes Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart for not portraying a realistic view of modern Africa and praises A Bend in the River for reflecting Africa's true image. Ifemelu contradicts her by stating A Bend in the River is more about longing for Europe than Africa, making Kelsey uncomfortable. Kelsey is taken aback when she learns African braiding involves hair extensions. Ifemelu's thoughts shift towards Curt, her first American boyfriend and Kimberly’s cousin from Baltimore. Despite his immediate affection for her, Ifemelu was initially reluctant to date a white man. When a smitten Curt asked her out, she was astounded. After their first kiss, he insists they reveal their relationship to Kimberly. Ifemelu is taken by surprise, but agrees. When he mentions she's his first Black girlfriend, she refrains from discussing her past relationship with Obinze, not wanting to label him as an ex. Ifemelu finds Curt's positive and hopeful demeanor as distinctively American.

chapter 19

Upon meeting Curt's mother, Ifemelu learns that the family, despite being Republican, backed the civil rights movement. She senses the woman's acceptance of her son's multicultural dating history, but presumes he will eventually wed a white woman. Dating Curt affords Ifemelu the financial freedom she needs to thrive, positively influencing her academic performance and well-being. Curt encourages her to quit her babysitting job, but she declines. She keeps their relationship from her parents. Approaching graduation, Ifemelu is met with the daunting prospect of job hunting as a foreign communications graduate. Curt assists by securing her a job interview at a Baltimore-based PR firm, which could lead to a green card. While grateful, Ifemelu feels a sense of guilt as her ASA peers grapple with finding employment on their student visas. Ahead of her interview, Ifemelu decides to straighten her hair, as braids are not deemed professional. The process causes a painful burn on her scalp, leading to Curt's dismay as he prefers her natural braids. The firm feels that Ifemelu is the perfect candidate for the job, leading her to wonder if they would have felt the same had she kept her natural hair. The section concludes with Ifemelu's blog post, where she opines that all minorities aspire to whiteness, raising the question of what WASPs aspire to.

chapter 20

Relocating to Baltimore for her job, Ifemelu finds herself constantly reassuring Curt, her boyfriend, of her affection as he is persistently seeking activities. Her hair starts to thin due to the relaxer’s chemicals. Wambui, an acquaintance, advocates for natural hair, criticizing relaxers as being unnatural, and cuts Ifemelu’s hair. Although she initially dislikes it, Curt praises her hair for its boldness. Ashamed, she calls in sick at work. Wambui introduces her to a website dedicated to natural Black hair, leading to a confrontation with Curt over his infidelity when she uses his laptop to visit the site. He denies the accusation, blaming his partner for the persistent emails, and claiming he responded only to stop them. Noting that Curt's ex-girlfriends all had long, lush hair, Ifemelu storms out. Curt offers an apology with flowers, which she accepts, attributing his lapse to an ego boost. Back at work, her colleagues wonder if her hair signifies a political statement. The website helps her connect with other women with similar hair and offers her insight on how to discuss it. This interaction feels therapeutic, like a church testimony, and they validate each other's beauty. Gradually, Ifemelu appreciates her natural hair. In the concluding blog post of the chapter, it is suggested that Barack Obama’s choice of a dark-skinned Black wife allows Black women with deeper skin tones to view themselves as appealing.

chapter 21

Aunty Uju requests Ifemelu to convince Dike to dress better for church because he already attracts attention. Ifemelu convinces Dike he won't meet anyone familiar at church and promises to address the shirt issue with Aunty Uju. Curt impresses Aunty Uju with his charm on meeting her, though Ifemelu finds his behavior tiring. An essay Dike wrote about his identity crisis upsets Aunty Uju. She blames the American preoccupation with identity and chooses not to discuss it with him. Aunty Uju is disgruntled because Bartholomew expects her to cook for him and control her earnings. He refuses to financially support Dike or care about his school problems. Bartholomew attributes the rejection of his business loan to racism, while Aunty Uju blames him for not relocating to a city with better prospects for Black individuals. She also criticizes Nigeria's previous leaders for forcing her to move to America. Fed up with Bartholomew's apathy at home, Aunty Uju leaves him. The section concludes with Ifemelu's blog post. She educates non-American Blacks that they're perceived as Black in America. She urges them to recognize the Black American understanding of racism, even if it's baffling. She emphasizes not to discuss racism with anger.

chapter 22

When Ifemelu encounters Kayode at the shopping center, he informs her that Obinze, currently in England, had requested him to describe her current appearance to him. Kayode inquires about the nature of their past relationship, but Ifemelu reacts indifferently and departs. She becomes apprehensive about what Kayode might relay to Obinze after seeing her get into Curt's car. She is also puzzled as to why Obinze is in England, given his previous obsession with America. Curt notices her pensive mood, and upon learning about her encounter with a Nigerian acquaintance, questions if Kayode was her former lover. Ifemelu denies this. In an email, Ifemelu confesses to Obinze that her silence had felt foolish to her, though she could not justify it. However, she receives no response from Obinze. Curt informs Ifemelu that he has arranged a massage for her. She acknowledges his kindness, to which he responds irritably, expressing his desire to be more than just 'sweet' - he wants to be the love of her life.

chapter 23

The narrative shifts to Obinze's experience as an undocumented immigrant in London. He connects with two Angolan men who are coordinating a sham green card marriage for him, with a down payment taken for the transaction. On meeting Cleotilde, his prospective wife, Obinze reconfirms her willing participation, promising a divorce once he obtains his documents. She is content with the arrangement, motivated by the monetary gain. They plan to meet alone to familiarize themselves with each other. Obinze is drawn to her, but resists acting on his feelings until after their marriage. His mind wanders back to his days prior to moving to London, when he saw himself as unsuccessful since all his dreams were centered around America. Unfortunately, obtaining an American visa became impossible due to the 9/11 attacks and the consequent surge in terror-related worries. Obinze also finds it challenging to secure employment. His mother proposes to include him in a research trip to London, falsely presenting Obinze as her research assistant, which grants him a six-month visa and the opportunity to advance his life. The dishonesty of this plan surprises Obinze, considering his mother's usually honest character.

chapter 24

Obinze's early days in London include a cleaning job where he gets humiliated by finding a deliberately placed feces on a toilet seat. In a fit of anger, he leaves it as is. The same night, he receives an email from Ifemelu which aggravates him further. He feels betrayed knowing she had been contacting others but not him. Her indifference, coupled with his embarrassment from the cleaning job, prompts him to delete her email. While in London, Obinze shares his living space with his cousin, Nicholas, and Nicholas's spouse, Ojiugo. The duo who were once rebellious university students in Nsukka, are now embodiments of propriety in London. Nicholas converses with Ojiugo in a manner similar to how he talks to their children. Ojiugo believes this change in Nicholas's demeanor is due to his recent attainment of legal documents and his previous life of perpetual worry. During her interactions with other mothers, they often compare their kids' academic performance. They also discuss a Black mother's astonishment at another Black woman's ability to enroll her children in a youth orchestra. Obinze reveals to Ojiugo that his mother had once foreseen Ojiugo as a literary critic. Ojiugo, however, clarifies that her dreams and expectations are now focused entirely on her children.

chapter 25

Emenike, a former university buddy of Obinze, currently resides in London with his Caucasian spouse, Georgina. Despite Obinze's need for assistance, Emenike appears too preoccupied to lend a hand. Another acquaintance of Obinze's brings him into contact with a guy named Vincent Obi. Vincent proposes a deal, offering Obinze the use of his National Insurance card in return for a cut of Obinze's earnings. Although Obinze attempts to negotiate, he essentially finds himself without an alternative.

chapter 26

Under the pseudonym Vincent, Obinze secures employment where he encounters both friendly and hostile attitudes from his colleagues. He faces jesting from workmates after injuring his knee, and also tackles the challenge of Anglo-Saxon interpretations of their names. He ultimately lands a delivery job at a storage facility, enjoying favor from his genial boss, Roy, who subsequently awards him favorable working hours. At the warehouse, colleagues share salacious female anecdotes, assuming Obinze to be a womanizer. In response to Obinze's assertion of abstinence due to a girlfriend back in Nigeria, Roy questions the existence of witchcraft. Nigel, a fellow driver, extends an invitation to tour the city post-deliveries, much to Obinze's delight. He appreciates Nigel's fair tip-sharing policy and observes his tendency to judge individuals based on the sophistication of their accents. An encounter with a Jamaican woman results in an additional tip and the term of endearment, brother. On one occasion, Nigel seeks Obinze's advice on expressing his feelings to a girl he is interested in. He is let down when Obinze suggests honesty as the best approach.

chapter 27

Obinze tends to shun British newspapers due to the frequent reports advocating stricter immigration laws. He persistently seeks someone to facilitate a green card marriage, even falling prey to fraudulent schemes. While in transit, he observes a woman engrossed in a sensationalist article about refugees. He ponders whether the authors acknowledge that these immigrants originate from nations Britain established. The woman then glances at Obinze, making him question if she perceives him as an illegal immigrant mentioned in her paper. Later, during his journey to Essex, an area with a high immigrant population, he feels isolated, reflecting on the disparity between his anticipated life and his current reality.

chapter 28

In the company one day, Obinze observes his colleagues avoiding his gaze which leads him to fear that his status as an unlawful migrant has been exposed. However, they were actually planning a birthday celebration for him, or more specifically, for Vincent, whose birthday it coincides. This act of unity makes Obinze feel secure. In the evening, Vincent gets in touch with Obinze, demanding a pay increase. Obinze disregards him, confident that Vincent wouldn't risk losing the funds he receives via Obinze. Nevertheless, the following day, Roy informs Obinze that an anonymous tip-off about his illicit immigration status was made. He requests Obinze to bring his passport the next day. Fast forward a few years, when Chief requests Obinze to hire a Caucasian man to pose as his general manager, he suggests Nigel for the position.

chapter 29

Obinze, running low on finances, turns to Emenike for help. Emenike, showing off his luxury attire, shares boastful tales of outsmarting their white colleagues. He says he can't visit Nigeria because his partner, Georgina, wouldn't cope. Eventually, Emenike lends Obinze the funds he needs and instructs him to count it. Soon after, Georgina invites them to dinner, and Emenike asks Obinze to keep quiet about the green card marriage. Contrary to Emenike's portrayal, Georgina is experienced and worldly, significantly older than him. Emenike then takes Obinze to an upscale restaurant. Obinze joins a party at Georgina and Emenike's home at her request. The guests chat about the couple's American visit. Emenike complains about Americans struggling with foreign names, and Georgina criticizes American nationalism. They contrast this with the British, leading to a conversation on race. Obinze points out that the British's fixation on class may be why they seem better, irritating Emenike for taking his argument. Georgina pushes Emenike to share his experience with a dismissive cab driver. Emenike narrates the incident humorously, yet Obinze recalls Emenike's anger when he first relayed the story. A guest highlights the necessity of Britain serving as a refuge for those fleeing conflict zones. Obinze then realizes that they wouldn't understand his reasons for leaving Nigeria - he believed it would give him more opportunities.

chapter 30

On Obinze's wedding day, he gets arrested by two cops, leaving his assigned attorney shocked when he willingly agrees to go back to Nigeria. While detained at Manchester Airport, he requests reading material from an immigration officer, who is taken aback by the request. Nonetheless, his sole amusement is watching TV post-lunch. He considers himself softer and more honest than his cellmates, thus ruling out another immigration attempt. Obinze's thoughts turn to Ifemelu, and he contemplates her opinion of him under these circumstances. He receives a visit from Nicholas and Ojiugo, who bring him money and fresh clothes. Ojiugo's repeated inquiries about his well-being irritate him, as he feels that's not the pressing issue. Upon deportation, Obinze and his fellow deportees are made to sit at the back of the plane. A bribe is solicited from him by an immigration officer during the paperwork procedure. His mother is waiting for him when he lands.

chapter 31

Ifemelu betrays Curt. Upon confessing, Curt is dismayed, questioning how she could hurt him considering his kindness. Ifemelu later grapples with why she ruined her life. Despite her numerous attempts to reach Curt, she eventually accepts that he won't respond. Jumping forward in time, the story shifts to a post-Obama Democratic nomination celebration. A Haitian lady asserts that race was not an issue in her relationship with a Caucasian man, to which Ifemelu disagrees. She insists that in the US, race is omnipresent, and it's common for Black people in interracial relationships to not share their experiences with their white partners. This sparks a memory of the incident that triggered her blog. During a discussion about Essence magazine's focus on Black women, Curt downplays the significance, prompting Ifemelu to demonstrate the lack of representation of dark-skinned women in popular media. This discussion is later the basis of Ifemelu's first blog post, inspired by an email exchange with Wambui. At the party, she mentions this post, advocating for authentic romantic love as a remedy for racism, even if it means discomfort. The section concludes with a blog entry where Ifemelu uses a metaphor to highlight the subtleties of race in America, noting that her white friend was unaware that Michelle Obama's hair isn't naturally straight.

chapter 32

Aunty Uju becomes involved with Doctors for Africa, providing medical aid in diverse locations, while commencing a romantic relationship with Kweku, a Ghanaian doctor. Ifemelu's parents manage to pay her a visit, appearing to be more provincial to her now. Her mother, curious about her love life, asks if she has a "friend" and cautions her about the fleeting nature of a woman's youth. Ifemelu is both relieved and saddened when they depart, prompting tears and a resignation from her job due to personal circumstances.

chapter 33

Ifemelu is taken aback by the popularity of her blog. As people show interest in financially backing her blog, she integrates a PayPal link. She even receives a substantial monthly donation from an unidentified person, which leads her to suspect it might be Curt. She enhances the blog's revenue stream by incorporating ads but keeps her identity hidden, identifying only as 'the blogger' in any media coverage. When she delivers her first diversity workshop at an Ohio company, the outcome is disastrous. She's accused of racism via email afterwards, leading to her realization that the aim of these sessions is to flatter people's self-perception. As her blog thrives, Ifemelu now has the means to purchase her own condominium and employ an assistant. Despite her triumph, she fears her audience one day revealing her true identity. The chapter concludes with a blog post that creates a 'safe space' for Black Americans who don't typically discuss their racial identity to express their feelings.

chapter 34

Ifemelu unexpectedly encounters Blaine at a gathering for bloggers of color. He recalls her and confesses that he was still involved with someone when they first met. The two reconnect and develop a romantic relationship. Unlike Ifemelu, Blaine is a consumer of organic foods, including tempeh, despite his dislike for it. She believes he will inspire her to evolve as a person. They eventually share a living space, and Blaine starts to proofread her blog posts before they get published. His suggestions spark changes in her work, though she begrudgingly accepts this as she prefers observing over explaining. He encourages her to acknowledge the responsibility she holds for her content, as people look up to her for academic insights. The chapter wraps up with Ifemelu's blog post about the complexity of labeling someone as a racist in America, with the term's connotation still rooted in the Civil Rights era.

chapter 35

Ifemelu accompanies Blaine to his sister Shan's house, who is upset over the publisher's choice of her book cover. Shan has been debating with the marketing director about it all morning. She gets a call from an admirer in France and mentions how she appreciates being seen as a woman first, not a Black woman by European men. Ifemelu discloses that white American men have shown more interest in her than Black American men, but Shan dismisses it, attributing it to Ifemelu's foreignness. The publisher finally calls to inform Shan that the cover image has been altered. The chapter concludes with Ifemelu's blog post. In it, she discusses how white Americans perceive Barack Obama as the "magic Black man". She expounds on this term, describing it as a wise Black man who refrains from expressing anger towards racism and softly guides white people through their deep-seated biases.

chapter 36

Ifemelu goes to a birthday celebration for one of Blaine's pals where she encounters Paula, Blaine's Caucasian ex-girlfriend. Ifemelu observes Paula's ease in Blaine's social circle, a comfort she does not share. Paula discusses Ifemelu's blog post which emphasizes the need for whites to pay attention to Black narratives. The dialogue shifts to Barack Obama and his recent declaration to run for president. Ifemelu's preference for Hillary Clinton is overshadowed by the excitement around Obama's emotional impact on people. Post-party, Ifemelu articulates her jealousy over Blaine's bond with Paula. She compares it to their penchant for battered fried chicken, unlike the Nigerian version she's familiar with. Blaine, misinterpreting the fried chicken reference, reassures her that there's no cause for jealousy. Ifemelu is not worried about infidelity but envies the shared aspiration to be virtuous that binds Blaine and Paula.

chapter 37

Dike has grown into a well-liked teenager, conversing with his peers in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). He avoids answering Ifemelu's question about his use of AAVE. At one of Shan's gatherings, Ifemelu listens as Shan voices her frustration over her editor's dismissal of her experiences with racism in her memoir. Shan believes it's challenging to write about race in the United States as white editors seek "nuance," leading to the trivialization of systemic issues. Shan opines that Ifemelu can approach the topic of race differently due to her non-American status and lack of personal stakes. This comment embarrasses Ifemelu, who wishes it was shared privately. The concluding blog post of this part tackles the tendency of some to label Obama as multiracial rather than Black. Ifemelu counters this view by stating that in America, one's race is decided for them.

chapter 38

Boubacar, a fresh professor from Senegal, develops a quick rapport with Ifemelu due to their African connection. Blaine is wary of Boubacar who also persuades Ifemelu to consider a Princeton humanities fellowship. Ifemelu receives a text from Blaine about a library's Black guard, Mr. White, whom she dislikes for his inappropriate remarks about her and Blaine. A misunderstanding involving Mr. White and a librarian leads to unnecessary police interference. Despite not discussing it, Blaine plans a protest against the university's handling of the situation and expects Ifemelu's attendance. Instead, Ifemelu skips the protest and joins Boubacar at a friend's farewell lunch. When Blaine texts to ask about her, she lies that she overslept. Even so, Blaine is thrilled with the protest's success and believes it restored Mr. White's dignity. After confessing her lie, Blaine is deeply upset. He chides her for not living the values she espouses in her blog and implies that she would be more empathetic if she were a Black American. Following their fallout, Blaine becomes distant, leading Ifemelu to seek comfort in a visit to Aunty Uju. The section concludes with a blog post stressing that impoverished whites still enjoy more privileges than their non-white counterparts.

chapter 39

Dike grapples with racial prejudice at his school. The headmaster wrongfully accuses him of breaching the school's digital security, despite lacking computer skills. His peers expect him to supply drugs and even the local clergyman adopts a form of AAVE when communicating with him. Blaine finally picks up Ifemelu's calls. There is notable tension between them as they prepare coconut rice together, an indication of their growing estrangement. In Ifemelu's associated blog post, she discusses the uneasy relationship America has with race and the carefully engineered lingo used in racial dialogues.

chapter 40

Ifemelu's admiration for Blaine surpasses her love for him. She is moved by Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father, a sentiment that surprisingly aligns with Blaine's, reigniting their flame. Their friends, too, are entranced by Obama, leading to less disputes amongst them. Ifemelu secures the Princeton fellowship, but assures Blaine she'll postpone her move until after the elections. An intimate moment between them is rekindled when Obama clinches the nomination. They are drawn in by Obama's speech on race, though Blaine disagrees with Obama's attempt to balance Black rage and white fear. Ifemelu argues that telling the truth would jeopardize Obama’s chances, but this leaves Blaine feeling hurt. Shan suffers a breakdown due to poor sales of her book. Despite Ifemelu's efforts to steer their conversation towards the election and Obama to lighten the mood, Shan remains uninterested. Shan even responds to Ifemelu's suggestion to read Obama’s book with a wish for people to read hers. The news of Barack Obama’s presidential win elicits a text from Dike to Ifemelu, joyfully acknowledging that their president shares their skin color. Watching Obama’s victory speech, Ifemelu feels a sense of beauty about America. In her subsequent blog post, Ifemelu appreciates the few white friends who take the responsibility of enlightening their white peers about racism but admits that they are a rarity.

chapter 41

Ifemelu returns from her reverie, noticing Aisha's distress about her boyfriend's absence. Aisha inquires about Ifemelu's green card acquisition. She shares her own failed attempt to secure a green card through marriage, which ended in financial exploitation by her would-be husband. Ifemelu discloses that her green card was sponsored by her employer. Aisha bemoans her inability to return to Senegal due to her immigration status, expressing her desire for a green card marriage to her boyfriend. She reveals her mother's ill health and her aspiration to attend her eventual funeral. Ifemelu volunteers to speak to Aisha's boyfriend and makes a mental note of his place of employment. She also ensures that Aisha receives a generous tip, aware of the salon owner's practice of claiming the lion's share of the fee. Ifemelu's tranquility is shattered by a frantic call from Aunty Uju, who reveals that Dike has attempted suicide.

chapter 42

Obinze frets over Ifemelu's delayed response to his message, driving him to do a deep dive on Blaine via his reactivated Facebook account. He had previously deactivated it, annoyed by the amplified narratives of people's lives. Obinze communicates the loss of his mother to Ifemelu via email. Her response, a few hours later, is sympathetic. She discloses her visit to Aunty Uju for personal reasons and requests for his contact number, to which Obinze provides all his mobile numbers. After receiving no response, he sends her descriptive emails about his life in London. In response, Ifemelu informs him about Dike's failed suicide attempt. She sends him a link to her blog's past posts while confessing that her homecoming has been delayed. The idea of visiting Ifemelu and Dike crosses Obinze's mind, however, it's thwarted by Kosi accusing him of being lost in thoughts. While examining the past posts on Ifemelu's blog, Obinze is taken aback by its Americanized content. The realization of how much Ifemelu has changed in his absence leaves him with a deep sense of loss.

chapter 43

Ifemelu ponders on Dike's suicide attempt and blames Aunty Uju for not teaching him about his Nigerian roots and his Black identity. Aunty Uju counters, attributing Dike's problems to common teenage depression. Dike encourages Ifemelu to pursue her original plan of returning to Nigeria and agrees to visit her there.

chapter 44

Upon arrival in Lagos, Ifemelu is greeted by Ranyinudo. She is initially overwhelmed with the bustling city and struggles to discern whether she has changed or Nigeria has. Her friend teases her with the nickname "Americanah," given to Nigerians who return from the United States with new attitudes. At Ranyinudo's apartment, they watch NTA, which is airing a nationalistic piece. Ranyinudo sarcastically criticizes it, revealing she barely watches Nigerian channels. Despite having a job in advertising, her earnings are insufficient to pay her rent. She is romantically involved with a rich, married man and grumbles about his failure to deliver on a promise of a new car. They have been without power for several days, forcing Ranyinudo to rely on a noisy generator until bedtime.

chapter 45

Ifemelu secures a position as a features editor at Zoe magazine, a job that excites the owner, Aunty Onenu, due to Ifemelu's American experience. Although Ifemelu believes Aunty Onenu's invitation to her home is unprofessional, she accepts it as a part of Nigerian culture. While Ifemelu plans to improve Zoe, Aunty Onenu's main concern is to overtake her rival publication, Glass. Ifemelu's American background saves her job as Aunty Onenu tolerates her suggestions, which Ranyinudo believes would have otherwise led to her dismissal. In her quest for an apartment, Ifemelu realizes her status as a returnee from America gives her an advantage. A landlord, who typically rents to foreigners, makes an exception for Ifemelu, an Igbo. She pays two years of rent upfront and gains insight into the prevalence of bribery as most people can't afford such a lump sum payment. When she berates workers for shoddy work and threatens non-payment, Ranyinudo commends her for behaving like a true Nigerian. Ranyinudo questions why Ifemelu hasn't sought Obinze's assistance in finding a flat. For Ranyinudo, men are tools to be exploited. Ifemelu, who hasn't informed Obinze of her return, maintains email communication with him.

chapter 46

During her weekend visits to her parents, Ifemelu deceives them and her circle by pretending that she and Blaine are still an item. This falsehood shields her from the pity of her married friends and the envy of her single ones, topics usually revolving around marriage. Priye, her friend, has become a wedding planner recently. One of Priye's clients boasted of seven governors attending her nuptials. When questioned about the significance of having governors at a wedding, Ifemelu is told that it signifies the couple's strong connections. Both Priye and Rayinudo stress the importance in Lagos of marrying a man who can provide for you financially.

chapter 47

Aunty Onenu proudly states that many of Zoe's employees have studied in foreign institutions. Excluding Ifemelu, only Doris holds a degree from a U.S. university among the three editors. Doris attempts to establish a connection with Ifemelu through their shared experience in America, but Ifemelu resents the assumption of similar world views. When Zemaye criticizes Doris for keeping the air conditioning too high, Ifemelu agrees. Despite this initial friction, Doris and Ifemelu eventually bond over the peculiarities of Nigerian dialect. Doris invites Ifemelu to join a gathering of the Nigerpolitan Club, a group for Nigerians who have lived abroad.

chapter 48

Members of the Nigerpolitan Club voice their longing for aspects of life overseas. Ifemelu realizes her own tone is tinged with conceit, a trait she despises. Fred, who holds a degree from Harvard, propositions her for a drink. She refuses the offer, but advises him to reach out to her.

chapter 49

Ifemelu finds it difficult to work for Zoe and during a meeting, she is criticized by Aunty Onenu for her judgmental interview. She retaliates by stating that their tactics won't allow them to surpass a competitor, Glass. Aunty Onenu dismisses the meeting and goes shopping while Ifemelu seizes the opportunity to take a break when Ranyinudo calls her. Ranyinudo's partner is withholding a jeep he purchased for her, as she is no longer acting as the “sweet girl” he expects. Ifemelu recognizes this as Ranyinudo bending to his expectations. Elsewhere, Doris inquires about the secretary, Esther's well-being. Ifemelu feels guilty for not noticing Esther's illness earlier. Upon learning that Esther is taking unlabeled medication, Ifemelu suggests a health column, an idea Doris dismisses as they aren’t activists. This inspires Ifemelu to consider starting a blog about Lagos. Frustrated, Ifemelu voices her discontent about the articles run by Zoe. Doris clarifies that the featured women pay Aunty Onenu, which is a common practice in Nigeria. Ifemelu questions Doris's true beliefs, to which Doris labels her as judgmental. She warns Doris that Aunty Onenu's methods will not lead to triumph. As she exits the office, Esther informs Ifemelu that she has a husband-repelling spirit.

chapter 50

Dike arrives in Lagos to visit Ifemelu, intrigued by the numerous Black individuals in a single location. Ifemelu embarks on a new blog project, featuring interviews with Priye, gossip contributions from Zemaye and a personal editorial piece on the Nigerpolitan Club. Upon blogging about young Lagos women who are financially dependent on men, Ifemelu incites Ranyinudo's anger. Despite Ifemelu clarifying that the blog post was aimed at Aunty Uju, Ranyinudo draws a parallel between these women and Ifemelu's past relationship with Curt. After an apology from Ifemelu, Ranyinudo suggests she reach out to Obinze to vent her emotional torment. Dike, curious about his father, is taken to see Aunty Uju’s property by Ifemelu. He requests to drive back to Ifemelu's place and, upon departure, expresses his fondness for Lagos. Ifemelu considers encouraging him to relocate but refrains. Ranyinudo expresses disbelief that a boy like Dike would attempt suicide, referring to it as alien behavior, which infuriates Ifemelu.

chapter 51

Mistaking a stranger for Obinze at a bank, Ifemelu decides to message him. He quickly responds and they agree to meet at the Jazzhole bookstore. When Obinze inquires about her book choice, she explains she wanted their reunion to occur in a memorable location. They discuss the oddity of returning to Nigeria, and Obinze openly flirts. He asks about her American life and admits that after reading her blog, he noticed significant changes in her. His dream of America faded when his wealth made it accessible. They meet again the following day. Obinze is happy to converse with an intelligent individual, indirectly commenting on his wife, Kosi. Ifemelu questions his reasons for marrying Kosi. He compliments Ifemelu's blog and suggests she needs investment, but she turns down his offer. He questions why she cut off communication and she confesses about the tennis coach, and her feeling of betrayal to herself and Obinze. He acknowledges her pain and loneliness and wishes she had confided in him. As he holds her hand, she feels a sense of safety.

chapter 52

Obinze jokingly chides Ifemelu for looking at her blog during their lunch. Following a less than satisfying Italian dining experience, Ifemelu purchases fried plantains from a market vendor who also recommends akara. Ifemelu respects the vendor for selling her own creations and not relying on brand reputation or location. Once Obinze drops Ifemelu at her place, she expresses her frustration over their unspoken attraction and Obinze's habit of kissing her before returning to his wife. When Obinze questions her relationship with Blaine, she reminds him of his marital status. She refers to Zemaye’s article on detecting infidelity, an accusation Obinze denies. Ifemelu retorts that no man believes his adultery feels like adultery. Obinze angrily leaves her apartment, only to return shortly after, apologizing for his outburst. He expresses discomfort discussing their affair in purely carnal terms. Ifemelu concurs. That night they become intimate and for the first time, Ifemelu genuinely identifies with the term “making love."

chapter 53

Overwhelmed by her feelings, Ifemelu finds herself entangled in a love cliché. But the fact that Obinze is married cannot be overlooked. Obinze proposes to cook for her, hinting that his wife Kosi dislikes him cooking. He tries to justify his marital status, citing his vulnerability at the time. Ifemelu retaliates by vowing to interview the rich man Obinze despises, despite previously promising not to. Over dinner, Obinze professes their love and asks Ifemelu to accompany him to Abuja. However, he later backtracks via text, choosing to travel alone for some solitude. Ifemelu shoots back, calling him a coward. Arriving home from the salon, Ifemelu finds Obinze waiting outside her flat. Claiming he needs time for reflection, his vague words are met with Ifemelu's anger. She dismisses him harshly and tells him to leave.

chapter 54

Obinze, residing in Abuja, is consumed with thoughts of Ifemelu, conflicted by the fear of upending his life with Kosi. He reaches out to Ifemelu repeatedly but is met with silence. Soon, he finds himself back in Lagos, getting ready for a dinner with Kosi to celebrate Nigel's birthday. Seeing Buchi triggers memories of Kosi's apology for having a daughter. Obinze had been drawn to Kosi's predictability, during a time when his newfound wealth had left him feeling disoriented. That evening, Kosi makes sexual advances but Obinze declines. By next day, he informs Kosi of his decision to end their marriage. Kosi responds by reminding him of his familial responsibilities and discloses her knowledge of his affair with Ifemelu, leaving Obinze embarrassed. Despite their strained relationship, Kosi insists on Obinze accompanying her to a friend's christening ceremony. She even arranges matching blue outfits for the family. Feeling like a pawn in this facade, Obinze confides to his friend about his intention to divorce Kosi and marry Ifemelu. His friend criticizes him, labeling divorce as a behavior typical of white people.

chapter 55

Ifemelu observes a peacock near her apartment, attempting a failed mating dance, which she wishes to share with Obinze. Despite knowing he loves her, she understands his obligations stop him from prioritizing his feelings. Her friend Ranyinudo urges her to start dating again, but she chooses to focus on her blog instead. Unexpectedly, Obinze shows up at Ifemelu's apartment. He hands her a letter, expressing his desires to not let their past affect their future. He confirms his decision to leave his wife Kosi, while still taking care of their child Buchi. Repeating his words from a past party at Kayode's, he states, “I’m chasing you.” Consequently, Ifemelu welcomes him inside.

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