Wednesday, October 15, 2008

165 - Purple Hibiscus; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus, is a wonderful piece of literary fiction. It is a coming of age story, a story of domestic violence, and a look at freedom. The characters are well-developed.

Fifteen year old Kambili, lives a life of privilege in with her parents, and her brother Jaja in Nigeria. The father, Eugene is a wealthy businessman, a religious fanatic, and a strict disciplinarian. His family is the recipient of his cruel and unusual forms of punishment. The book opens on Palm Sunday, with the father, Eugene, throwing a prayer book across the room, trying to hit his son for his refusal to taken communion at mass earlier in the day. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Later in the story Kambili and Jaja spend some time away from home at their Aunty Ifeoma’s home. At this home there is laughter, love, few rules and much freedom. Later, the mother also spends some time there, and soon they begin to question the strict rules Eugene makes them adhere to. What follows changes their lives forever.

This book was an amazing debut novel. I had both the written version and the audio version (the reader was excellent). It was not necessary to have the written copy to enjoy this book however, I was curious about some of the names and phrases so the written form was helpful. I definitely plan to read more by this author.

RATING - 5/5 - COMPLETED - 10/15/08

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