“One of the most vital and original novelists of her generation.” —Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker
From the bestselling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists
Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.
As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.
Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Set in postcolonial Nigeria, Purple Hibiscus is narrated by Kambili Achike, a 15-year-old who finds her voice as she begins to question first her father, then everything. Kambili’s dad, a rich scion, is a brave champion of free speech, but he’s also a meticulous, authoritarian householder. Kambili’s understated tone cushions the blows of the violence she describes both inside and outside her home. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s first novel is lush with telling detail about her native country, homing in on the contrasts between rich and poor, young and old, and delivering sharp truths about power and freedom.
By turns luminous and horrific, this debut ensnares the reader from the first page and lingers in the memory long after its tragic end. First-person narrator Kambili Achike is a 15-year-old Nigerian girl growing up in sheltered privilege in a country ravaged by political strife and personal struggle. She and her brother, Jaja, and their quiet mother, who speaks "the way a bird eats, in small amounts," live this life of luxury because Kambili's father is a wealthy man who owns factories, publishes a politically outspoken newspaper and outwardly leads the moral, humble life of a faithful Catholic. The many grateful citizens who have received his blessings and material assistance call him omelora, "The One Who Does for the Community." Yet Kambili, Jaja and their mother see a side to their provider no one else does: he is also a religious fanatic who regularly and viciously beats his family for the mildest infractions of his interpretation of an exemplary Christian life. The children know better than to discuss their home life with anyone else; "there was so much that we never told." But when they are unexpectedly allowed to visit their liberated and loving Aunty Ifeoma, a widowed university professor raising three children, family secrets and tensions bubble dangerously to the surface, setting in motion a chain of events that allow Kambili to slowly blossom as she begins to question the authority of the precepts and adults she once held sacred. 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. Author tour.
When one of my favorite authors writes a book I know it’s going to be great. This book was wonderful. Had me totally surprised. I could have never ever predicted that’s how things would have turned out but I’m glad things happened the way they did. I loved this book.
One of the best books ever
This book is so vivid and mesmerizing. The author is one of the best writers of the 21 century.