Ugwu gets diarrhea because he is so stressed about Odenigbo and Olanna’s relationship. Mama returns with Amala, and she gloats about her coming grandson. Finally Mama leaves, and Odenigbo makes her take Amala with her. Mama promises to return the next week and fetch her.
Ugwu’s protective feelings for Odenigbo and Olanna are adorable. Mama seems to have no concern for Odenigbo’s actual happiness, but only for upholding tradition and her own social standing.
The next day Ugwu finds Amala in the garden, eating all the hot peppers. She is crying, and she says eating peppers can remove pregnancy. Ugwu doesn’t believe her, but he hopes it is true. He wonders why she went along with Mama’s plan if she doesn’t want the baby.
Amala is like Richard, a tool for betrayal, but unlike Richard Amala has no voice, power, or agency of her own. She is a tragic figure because no one shows her kindness or even treats her like a human.
A few days later Olanna visits, and she gets angry when Odenigbo again tries to put all the blame on his mother. Ugwu is so anxious about their argument that he gets sick again, and when he returns from the bathroom Olanna is in the yard. Ugwu tells her that Mama used “bad medicine” on Odenigbo, and he tells her about the flies and Mama rubbing something on Amala’s back. Olanna says “rubbish,” but then she goes back into the house.
Olanna has now been asserting her own independence, so she wants Odenigbo to be confident and accept the blame for his infidelity. Ugwu’s side of the story also seeks to lay the blame on Mama, but it seems to soften Olanna’s heart.
Ugwu goes inside and eavesdrops. He hears shouting, but then he hears Odenigbo and Olanna having sex. Afterwards Olanna leaves. Ugwu asks Odenigbo if she will return soon, but Odenigbo doesn’t answer.
Adichie doesn’t show this tumultuous first reunion from Olanna’s point of view, but we must assume that she finally “chooses happiness.”