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Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus (original 2003; edition 2012)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Author)

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3,7011652,583 (4.01)1 / 571
When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili's father, involved in mysterious ways with the unfolding political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to their aunt's. Here she discovers love and a life - dangerous and heathen - beyond the confines of her father's authority.
Title:Purple Hibiscus
Authors:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Author)
Info:Algonquin Books (2012), Edition: 1, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2003)


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» See also 571 mentions

English (148)  French (4)  Finnish (3)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
**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 |
This is a masterful book, it is hard to believe it was Adichie's first.

Kambili is a young teen girl, raised in a brutal home where regular violent abuse is couched as actions showing love and religious faith. Her father's is the prototypical iron fist in the velvet glove. (It is clear that he is trying to be a good man for the record, and he is not an ogre. He is in many ways a kind man and brave one, and a very sad one.) Also brutal is the Nigerian government's treatment of all, though this iron fist comes with no soft wrapper.

So far this sounds interminably bleak but it is not. The story is also very much about love of all sorts. Love of family, love of country, and romantic love all survive even when the Catholic church and the Nigerian government do all they can to rip those things to bloody shreds, to bury them in poverty and shame and abuse the love still lives. So strong and glorious is that love, it bears the power to resurrect the barely alive. Characters who run from the deprivation and cruelty perpetrated by the government love and miss their country and recognize the good things amidst the violence, repression and squalor.

So for all the pain (and blood, and piss, and shit, and decaying flesh) this is a hopeful book, a book that reminds you that Kambili, Jaha and Auntie Ifeoma exist, and rise above. The subtlety and complexity of these characters astounds. This is brilliant writing and engrossing storytelling. ( )
  Narshkite | May 8, 2021 |
Amazing that Adichie wrote this at 26. Her talent for painting the richness of human interaction (spoken and unspoken) knows no rival. Eugene is an interesting allegory for postcolonialism. Capitalistic prosperity brings the illusion of freedom, or at least political and material freedoms that can be bought. However, internalized racism and the rejection of heritage fortify the unbroken chain of colonial violence. As much as I love Adichie, endings are her weakness. I’d like to have seen more of Kambili’s transformation. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
best book I've read in ages. has made me question all the stars I've assigned this year, might have to downgrade everything else.

there is all this Nigerian food which I have no idea what it is, but I want to try it.

also, lots of bigoted dogmatic Catholics fucking up their children. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (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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When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili's father, involved in mysterious ways with the unfolding political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to their aunt's. Here she discovers love and a life - dangerous and heathen - beyond the confines of her father's authority.

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