I knew the way you know about a good melon.

Here is a small insight into the things that happen inside of my brain: when I am reading, I am always on the lookout for what I privately think of as the Melon Moment. The Melon Moment is the moment you know you love something (a person, a book, a fruit the size of your face). It is so called because of this moment from the hit film When Harry Met Sally (whose Melon Moment, incidentally, is not this moment, but rather this one):

The Melon Moment is the best part of reading, because it usually happens pretty early on in the book, and you get to sigh happily and look at all the pages you have left to read and all of delicious melon left to eat. Melons are enormous. I am taking this analogy very very far.

My Melon Moment in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah is on page 61:

She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.

Americanah is not only a love story. It’s not even mainly a love story. It’s mainly a book about Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman finding her way, in America and Nigeria—and finding her way, not just her way back to Obinze, the man she fell in love with as a teenager (although she does that too). But this is the great thing about their relationship, and it’s right there in that first moment: this is a love story about two people finding themselves through each other.


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