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Jonathan Ball

Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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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 coup, Kambili's father, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to live with their aunt. In this house, full of energy and laughter, she discovers life and love - and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family. Centring on the promise of freedom and the pain and exhilaration of adolescence, Purple Hibiscus is the extraordinary debut of a remarkable new talent.
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Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Where does growth really come from?

Purple Hibiscus is the first Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books I had ever read, and now it has a regular spot on my bookshelf. I am at awe at how intricate Adichie is at displaying certain events as pinpoints for each character's development within the book. My favourite moment is this book has to be when Jaja kills and plucks a chicken for the first time. One may look at this as gruesome or unpleasant, but this made me look at Jaja transform from the innocent boy, who would be a bystander of his father, Eugene's abuse; where he turned into a more wiser and experienced man. I feel as if this adds to why he did what he did at the end of the book, as way to fully step into the role of manhood, and protecting those that really mean the most to him, his family. Even if it meant taking the fall, he did what any person would do in order to protect those he loves most.

Tshilanda Muamba
An eye opener

This novel was packed with many of the untold truths in African households. The story of Kambili realising that brutality is not all that is to life when she was sent to live with her Aunt in Nsukka showed that there are many ways of life and sometimes we can only be exposed to one. There are many problems that were portrayed in the book, like Domestic violence as Kambili,her mother and Jaja were used to Eugene's fist and how it was deemed normal. Overall the book touched on many important issues, I did not expect it to end the way it did but it was a great book.

Reneiloe Nduna
Worth a Read

I had to read this for literature and to say I read a lot of books as a Literature student is an understatement, but this was one of those that I could potentially see why it could be deemed a fantastic read but also could see the reasoning for a counter-argument. It is an honest story portraying a family with all its flaws and with characters that are more than just written down, but if you don’t look at the written text closely you may miss the entire story completely. If the book wasn’t capturing at first give yourself a second chance and read slow to digest.

Fortune Matenji
The untold truths

This phenomenal author aims to shed light on the untold and hidden truths that most African families live with behind closed doors. The novel is gripping from the first page as it goes into depth on the dynamics of power, Christianity and family. This is a brilliant and insightful read!

Worth your while

Purple Hibiscus happens to be my favourite book by the author, Half Of a Yellow Sun is a close second.

At its core it’s a family drama but the novel simultaneously explores race, politics, social unrest and religious fanaticism. It’s a beautiful and honest offering by Adichie, with incredibly written characters. It’s worth your while!

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