Purple Hibiscus: Book summary and reviews of Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2003,
    307 pages.

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Book Summary

Fifteen-year-old Kambili's world is circumscribed by the high walls and frangipani trees of her family compound. Her wealthy Catholic father, under whose shadow Kambili lives, while generous and politically active in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home.

When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili's father sends her and her brother away to stay with their aunt, a University professor, whose house is noisy and full of laughter. There, Kambili and her brother discover a life and love beyond the confines of their father's authority. The visit will lift the silence from their world and, in time, give rise to devotion and defiance that reveal themselves in profound and unexpected ways. This is a book about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred, between the old gods and the new.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In a soft, searing voice, Adichie examines the complexities of family, faith and country through the haunted but hopeful eyes of a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. Lush, cadenced and often disconcerting, this is an accomplished first effort." - Publishers Weekly.

"This is a harsh story, almost unbearable at first, but beautifully written." - School Library Journal, recommended for adults & high school.

"This impressive first novel is redolent in its depiction of the Nigerian countryside and generates a palpable narrative tension over what's to become of Kambili and Jaja's newfound sense of freedom." - Booklist.

"Quiet, chilling, and heart wrenching, this debut novel is both a superb portrait of an unfamiliar culture and an unflinching depiction of the universal turmoil of adolescence." - Voya, recommended for young adults and up.

"The stunning denouement underscores the power of family love. Written with great sensitivity, this debut shows why Adichie has already won several awards." - Library Journal.

"Like many first-novelists, Adichie tries for too much; her portrayal of Kambili's home life is striking but provides far too incomplete a depiction of Papa. Her portrait of Nigeria is fascinating but fragmented. Auntie Ifeoma and the cousins are likable enough but not memorable. Nonetheless, with Kambili the author has created a compelling narrative-and a surprising punch at end." - Kirkus.

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Ishwari Prasad Paudel
Transculturation
I liked this book the most and I am having my MA thesis on it.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Ibekailo Fransy
purple Hibiscus
The book purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adiche is a captivating and interesting story that kept me on edge till the last page of it. The part that I fancy most is the dispute between Eugene and his father (i.e Kambili's grand father) over religion. Well written. I must commend Miss Adiche for a wonderful piece of work.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Adeleye Kanyinsola Grace
Purple Hibiscus: a book review
The book purple hibiscus is a very influential book and very inspiring, it teaches a lesson to all parents most especially fathers: they should not try to keep their children in bondage or stop them from being exposed to things that would help them. I cite an example when Kambili and her brother went to their aunt's house fora holiday. They were not used to playing with other children of their age, instead they avoided them.
Also a good Christian must learn to portray his true nature both outside and on the inside. We should never be a chameleon to people around us. For example Kambili's father portrayed himself as a chameleon by doing good to outsiders and being brutal to his family.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Onuoha Azuka Davidson
dave's review
Interesting! excellent!! well written novel by an epitome of the African woman.....Mrs Adichie. It captures man's inhumanity to man especially during military rule in Nigeria and also the negative effects of religious fanaticism and hypocrisy.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by MEON3M
EXCELLENT
The book deals with the clash of beliefs and the resultant use of power.The book shows how abuse of parental authority affects children.I am not sure whether the resolution by Chimamanda in the book can be justified

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by kalejaye aminat olaide
the purple hibiscus
Chimamanda is actually a prolific writer, the book is very interesting and straightforward, a must read for everyone, especially students preparing for their final exams in Nigeria!

...3 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Author Biography

Photo © Okey Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka where she attended primary and secondary schools and briefly studied Medicine and Pharmacy. She then moved to the United States to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State with a major in Communication and a minor in Political Science. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Masters degree in African Studies from Yale.

Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and long-listed for the Booker Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta, ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Website

Name Pronunciation
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Chim-muh-MAHN-duh en-GOH-zee ah-DEECH-ee-(ay) The “ay” is soft, not quite a diphthong.

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