Purple Hibiscus

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Longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize A haunting tale of an Africa and an adolescence undergoing tremendous changes by a talented young Nigerian writer. The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili's world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her repressive and fanatically religious father. Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, and more prayer. When Nigeria begins to fall apart during a military ...

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Joyce M

Jun 27, 2013

Family Secrets

This is a story about a family's deeply hidden secrets that could have happened in any country, at any time. That it happens to a privileged and influential family in Nigeria does not change the compassion one feels for two children and their mother caught in a trap of cruelty. The fact that their oppressor/father believes he is doing what God would want him to do makes the story bone-chilling, and the ending is unexpected. What a wonderful first novel!

Rubycanary

Jun 27, 2008

Tragic, but not heavy

One thing that amazes me about Adichie's books is that they include violence, disorder, abuse, but they are never depressing or too heavy to read. Her characters transend their pasts and are extremely dynamic and interesting people.

Told from the point of view of a 15 year old with an oppressivly religious and abuse father, Adichie writes not just about growing up in politically torn Nigeria, but of abused families everywhere. This simple, fast book encomapasses so much - from the bond and rivalries between siblings, the mind-set of an abused mother, and the effects on media of political oppression.

There was a review on the back of the book stating that the character of the father was a portrait of a man who was a pillar of society, but couldn't be there for his family. I disagree with that, I think his role in society was more one of guilt and as a cover-up for his behavior at home.

Thollis

Apr 10, 2008

Excellent Read

After reading Half a Yellow Sun, I just had to read more by this author. Purple Hibiscus is a well-written, compelling, and impactful look into the effect ovezealous religion can have on a family. While the story takes place in Nigeria, I believe it reaches across cultural divides in a way very few authors have the talent to do.

TDub

Aug 3, 2007

A Brillian Debut

From the first page, one expects tragedy, but the one that is finally revealed, though foreshadowed throughout, is somehow unexpected.

Adichie develops layer upon layer or tragedy; yet, Purple Hibiscus is not a funeral dirge in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a beautifully nuanced wake for the family and the Nigeria that could have been.

Delightful, heartfelt, wholly African, and wholly unexpected from a then-debutante to the literary world.

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