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Purple Hibiscus (2003)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8791682,539 (4.01)1 / 578
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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» See also 578 mentions

English (151)  French (4)  Finnish (3)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
Gripping story of two siblings trying to escape the domestic abuse of their father in Nigeria. Interesting look at family and religious life. ( )
  purplewildcat | Feb 26, 2022 |
Narrator Kambili and her brother Jaja live a privileged life in Nigeria. Yet along with the luxury, they must cope with a demanding, violent, religiously-obsessed father.
Juxtaposing the constant fear at home, the terror of disobeying Papa...even if he could never find out...Adichie writes of the political system. The casual violence and corruption which are endemic- even Papa courts his fair share through publishing reports detrimental to authority...
And as Kambili yearns to get away- to stay with her poor but happy relatives...so, too, beset by worsening conditions, that family plans to escape to the USA..
Very strong read: Papa is a complex and unknowable character - despite his appalling brutality, Kambili yearns for his approval and discovers later on his anonymous charity work. ( )
  starbox | Feb 13, 2022 |
Very confronting, but beautifully written. While much of the book focuses on 15 year old Kambili as she learns about her family, and much of this is joyous, the subtle undercurrent of fear throughout the book was very draining to read. ( )
  fred_mouse | Dec 21, 2021 |
**spoiler alert**

When I first started reading this book I was sincerely worried that it would be a slow read. It ended up being a profoundly beautiful novel. Kambili's diverse relationship with all of her family members made the novel feel captivating and real. Kambili's struggle to understand her father's faith and her grandfather's and aunt's beliefs opened a window to a unique experience. It was moving to read how Kambili learned to navigate her world and make sense of religion and how that played into her loved one's actions. I also thought it was fitting that she was upset by her father's death. While I was not upset by his death, it only made sense that she was devastated and confused by his death, deeply missing him, but also struggling to come to terms with the fact that he was an abuser. ( )
  TheBiasedBibliophile | Aug 16, 2021 |
audiobook/historical fiction (post-colonial Nigeria during time of political upheaval; young girl and her older brother living with physically abusive and controlling father that is highly regarded in her community)

I listened to about half of the book--narration was great, though the microphone must've been super-sensitive because you can hear the smacking noises every time she opens her mouth, as well as every time she intakes breath--it can be distracting, but not the author's or narrator's fault. The pacing is slower (as is probably appropriate for this story) and takes some getting used to also.

Story is understated yet powerful. I think I could absorb more of it if I read it in print format. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chiamogu, NnamdiPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Humpries, JulianCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strömberg, RagnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, HoniCover artistsecondary 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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