Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus was captivating and heart-breaking. Kambili lives a sheltered life within the confines of her family estate with her brother mother and fanatically religious and highly strict father. Her life is dictated by his impossibly high standards and strict religious ideals. After a military coup erupts and her father is involved Kambili and her brother Jaja are sent to live with her university lecturer aunt and noisy, outspoken cousins. Here Kamibili is allowed to flourish with freedom love and laughter, while learning hard secrets about her family.

Purple hibiscus was a quick and consuming read. It took me a little to warm to our narrator. Kambili is very different form the norm as she was so meek and passive at the beginning. It did leave much room for growth and character development and I loved seeing her grow and unfurl like a flower (a hibiscus, maybe?). This was a beautiful story about the connection with family and how they can hurt you the most out of misguided love. Yet again Adichie gives us another honest glimpse into life growing up in Nigeria showing us the conflicting exorbitant excess of the rich and the joyful survival of the poor.

Addictie is queen of simple but heart-felt writing and I fell headlong into the characters and did not want this book to end. I was surprised with the direction the novel ended up taking me and once again i was left wanting more of her writing. Adichie is an amazing writer and I look forward to picking up the last of her novels on my list (Half of a Yellow Sun).

6 thoughts on “Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  1. Great review! I liked Purple Hibiscus the most of any of Adichie’s books. Half a Yellow Sun is very good at getting across the misery of the Biafran war, but I didn’t feel that the incursion of the white character, Richard, worked very well. And her collection of short stories – The Thing Around Your Neck – was, for me, an over-written failure.

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