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Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus (original 2003; edition 2008)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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2,2671062,823 (4)1 / 463
Title:Purple Hibiscus
Authors:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Info:HARPER PERENNIAL (2008), Paperback, 307 pages
Collections:Already Read, Your library
Tags:Acquired in 2009/earlier, @2011

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Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2003)

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English (98)  Finnish (3)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
I read all about the horrific civil war in Half of a Yellow Sun, but nothing in any of Adichie's books has been as hard for me to read as the religious and physical abuse in this one. I felt so sick to my stomach at times, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish it. But once I got a few chapters in—starting when Aunty Ifeoma was introduced, I think—I couldn't stop reading. I've loved all of Adichie's books so far, but this affected me much more personally than the others. I don't know if I've ever hoped so desperately for another character to go the direction I wanted them to go.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
This is the first novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the second one I've read. She is a very fine writer.
The story is a coming of age of a young girl in Nigeria. It opens on a scene full of significance and in going back and telling of the story we find out how things have developed and why they have developed.
Their privileged life of opportunities and wealth with a well-respected father covers a far sadder truth. A short visit with their father's sister shows them different possibilities. An unexpected twist at the end.
A story full of nuanced relationships set against the background of an unsettled Nigeria. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
A simple and heartwrenching book. It talks of issues of religion and freedom, not only in this Nigeria that is on the edge of a military coup, but within the family. ( )
  olduvai | Jan 19, 2016 |
This is the story of a wealthy Nigerian family headed by Eugene, a religious father who was brought up by Catholic missionaries. He's perceived by his community as a generous and charitable man who is also publisher of an outspoken newspaper, critical of the current repressive regime. Fifteen-year-old Kambili is the narrator of the story where we soon learn the shiny exterior hides a different reality for Kambili, her mother and her brother Jaja. The family is being destroyed by domestic violence, a father who has an uncontrollable temper and a family that can't live up to his impossible standards. He has even cut his his own father from his life for holding on to his ancient religion, only allowing his children to see him once a year for ten minutes.

Against his better judgment, Eugene allows his sister to take his children to spend a few days in her home. Kambili and Jaja are completely out of place in their aunt's home. She's an open-hearted person who lives in a messy, crowded apartment. It's a complete contrast to their own rigid orderly home. Jaja begins to adapt to the new environment, but Kambili, anticipating her father's disapproval, fights against adapting.

There are many complex characters in this novel. The themes of domestic violence, colonialism, and Nigerian politics was interesting and made me want to know more about the time period. It's a beautiful and sad story, but well worth adding to your TBR list.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Disturbing novel; family violence ( )
  siri51 | Sep 12, 2015 |
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strömberg, RagnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Professor James Nwoye Adichie and Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie, my parents, my heroes, ndi o ga-adili mma
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Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion and Papa flung his heavy missal across the room and broke the figurines on the etagere.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0007189885, Paperback)

Purple Hibiscus, Nigerian-born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's debut, begins like many novels set in regions considered exotic by the western reader: the politics, climate, social customs, and, above all, food of Nigeria (balls of fufu rolled between the fingers, okpa bought from roadside vendors) unfold like the purple hibiscus of the title, rare and fascinating. But within a few pages, these details, however vividly rendered, melt into the background of a larger, more compelling story of a joyless family. Fifteen-year-old Kambili is the dutiful and self-effacing daughter of a rich man, a religious fanatic and domestic tyrant whose public image is of a politically courageous newspaper publisher and philanthropist. No one in Papa's ancestral village, where he is titled "Omelora" (One Who Does For the Community), knows why Kambili¹s brother cannot move one of his fingers, nor why her mother keeps losing her pregnancies. When a widowed aunt takes an interest in Kambili, her family begins to unravel and re-form itself in unpredictable ways. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the city of Egunu, Nigeria, fifteen year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a somewhat cloistered life. Their father is a wealthy businessman, they live in a beautiful home, and attend private school. But, through Kambili's eyes, we see that their home life is anything but harmonious. Her father, a fanatically religious man has impossible expectations of his children and his wife, and if things don't go his way he becomes physically abusive. Not until Kambili and Jaja are sent away from home for the very first time to visit their loving aunt, does Kambili's world begin to blossom. But when a military coup threatens to destroy the country, the tension in her family's home escalates, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.… (more)

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