I've not ling finished reading Achebe's last work, 'Things Fall Apart' and what struck me about that novel, which is very much the case in this, is just how willing Achebe is to display the harsh realities of the time. Simply put, Achebe does not shy away from portraying the truth of the times and does not always guarantee you a happy ending.
This novel is a kind of sequel to 'Things Fall Apart' in that it focuses on the grandson of Ogbuefi Okonkwo, Obi. The start of the novel places Obi in a court facing charges of bribery. We are then taken back a few years to certain points and significant events in his life which brought him to this moment, starting with him being sent to England by his village to receive a university education.
Obi becomes a man of principles, sure that the corruption which is rife in the government of his home country of Nigeria is down to the elders, he is convinced that when the younger people take over the government, corruption will be no more, but we soon learn that the harsh reality of life in 1950s colonial Nigeria make corruption almost inevitable.
The theme of 'Things Fall Apart' was very much about the clash of cultures and while this theme still exists in this book depicting the clash between colonial Britain and tribal traditions and beliefs, it is less prevalent as the colonising effort has advanced much more significantly compared to the 1890s setting of the first novel.
This is less about the clash between white and black, more about clash between young and old. It deals with certain events and cultural traditions that are still held dear to the village elders, but not held with as much importance by the younger generation, particularly Obi.
I would highly recommend this, but if you haven't, you should read 'Things Fall Apart' first, just to get yourself familiar with the narrative style. So far, this ranks as my favourite.