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Purple Hibiscus

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  29,862 Ratings  ·  2,890 Reviews
A promising new voice from Nigeria delivers an exquisite and powerful first novel about a 15-year-old Nigerian woman who is awakening at a time when both her country and family are on the cusp of change.
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published 2003)
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Franchesca Guzman I just finished! It is incredible! What a moving and intriguing story. Adichie is brilliant. Bravo!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ebony
Feb 18, 2012 Ebony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficton
I was biased towards Adichie as an excellent writer because that’s what people said. It wasn’t the book I originally was going to read by her but it was her first so naturally, I thought I would start at the beginning. I felt so oppressed reading the book but then I realized that was her genius. She never said the word oppression. For the first two-thirds of the book, she never described pain, but all the details made me feel like something was terribly wrong not just at home but also in the cou ...more
Tea Jovanović
Wonderful book...
Among the top 20 that I've signed as editor...
Adam
Jul 06, 2012 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
I have really enjoyed reading Purple Hibiscus by Nigerian born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. An admirer of her compatriot, the writer Chinua Achebe, who wrote, amongst other things, Things fall apart, she begins her novel with the words : “Things started to fall apart at home…” Even if the use of these words is purely coincidental, they provide a very apt summary of what is going to happen during the following 300 pages.

The story is narrated by 15 year old Kambili. She and her brother Ja Ja ar
...more
Lisa
Aug 02, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A father/husband who is physically abusive, extremely authoritarian, rigidly Catholic, yet extremely generous toward his community drives the action of the novel. When his children, Kambili (the narrator) and Jaja, go to live with their aunt they witness and begin to experience autonomy.

Nigerian political strife is merely a backdrop in this novel. Eugene, Kambili’s father, runs a paper and finds himself having to take his printing underground to escape the authorities; Ifeoma, Kambili’s aunt/ E
...more
Dianne
Jan 21, 2014 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015
Really good debut novel that is at heart a family drama, but also a look at race, politics, social unrest and religious fanaticism.

I love Adichie's writing and the characters she creates here are memorable and believable. Highly recommend.
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
You can also read the full review here!

She seemed so happy, so at peace, and I wondered how anybody around me could feel that way when liquid fire was raging inside me, when fear was mingling with hope and clutching itself around my ankles .

 Purple Hibiscus is the first book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that I’ve read, but I can guarantee it won’t be my last. I loved this book so much and felt deeply connected to the characters and story. It was such an insightful and thought-provoking read, I
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Aditi
“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”

----Salman Rushdie


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an award winning Nigerian author, has penned an immensely absorbing family drama in her literary fiction novel, Purple Hibiscus where the author weaves the tale of a young Nigerian girl who belongs from a very rich and affluent family where the father of the family is a religious fanatic and used to torture his wife, his daughter and his son in the name of Christ if they commit a slight
...more
helen the bookowl
Mar 07, 2015 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another beautiful and honest story from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that hits you in the heart and stays with you for a long time to come. This one is about a Nigerian family who has its secret. To begin with, a lot of things are veiled as you only get to see things from the protagonist's, Kambili's, perspective. However, as the story continues we realize that there is more behind the story than you think, and the horrible truth is heart-breaking and thought-provoking.
I really like Adichie's b
...more
Emer (ALittleHaze)
Jan 20, 2016 Emer (ALittleHaze) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emer (ALittleHaze) by: Anne
This wonderful book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was recommended to me by my dear Goodreads friend Anne (you should be following her, not only is she lovely but she writes amazing reviews).

“We did that often, asking each other questions whose answers we already knew. Perhaps it was so that we would not ask the other questions, the ones whose answers we did not want to know.”


Purple Hibiscus tells the story of 15 year old Kambili. She lives at home with her brother and her parents. From the outs
...more
Julie
Toward the end of Purple Hibiscus, it occurred to me that the character of Papa could be a metaphor for Nigeria and Kambili, the sheltered, naïve young daughter of a wealthy businessman, the Nigerian people. Papa, gifted with an intelligence that holds so much potential, instead wields his power with the cruel, unsparing hand of a megalomaniacal dictator. He crushes, but does not defeat, the spirit of his hopeful, innocent daughter.

Adichie is such a master of character ambiguity. It is easy to
...more
·Karen·
Mar 20, 2015 ·Karen· rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
Aunty Ifeoma writes to her niece in Nigeria from America:

There are people, she once wrote, who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time. It is like telling a crawling baby who tries to walk, and then falls back on his buttocks, to stay there. As if the adults walking past him did not all crawl, once.


It is particularly appropriate to be reading this around the time of the presidentia
...more
João Carlos
Feb 23, 2015 João Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, l2015, 2015best

“A Cor do Hibisco” (2003) é o primeiro livro da nigeriana Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (n. 1977), um romance de excepcional qualidade, um livro que “queima” como água a ferver…
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie divide “A Cor do Hibisco” em quatro partes: “Quebram-se os Deuses – Domingo de Ramos”, “Falávamos Através do Espírito – Antes do Domingo de Ramos”, “Os Pedaços de Deus – Depois do Domingo de Ramos” e “Um Silêncio Diferente – O Presente”.
A narradora é Kambili, uma rapariga nigeriana de 15 anos, filha de
...more
Emma
Nov 24, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adichie has an incredible talent for making the reader lose themselves in the story she has created. I could feel the gritty winds of the harmattan, and the bumpy, potholed roads between Enugu and Nsukka; see the blooming purple hibiscus and the dancing Mmuo spirits. I loved Adichie's inclusion of Igbo words, contextualised or explained so that I was never uncertain of their meaning. I actually had more trouble with the vocabulary of Catholicism, not being religious myself, and had to look up ma ...more
Margitte
This was a great book to read.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche combined Nigerian politics, religion, cuisine, traditional believes and industry in such a way that neither of the elements overshadowed the story of the fifteen-year old Kambili and her family. Although her father was religiously rigid, physically, mentally and emotionally abusive to the family, especially Kambili's mom, Adiche still showed his softer side of him caring for so many hundreds of people either openly or anonymously. Her wealth
...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
This book was amazing. The writing is very concise and spot on. The amount of content Adichie is able to put into a book of this size was impressive. It was not boring for one minute and I felt constantly like I was in the middle of the story. I could feel with the characters and understand the worl in which Kambili lived.
The story itself was very interesting and moving as it showed the lives of a very religious and rich family in Nigeria from the viewpoint of the young daughter, who seemed a lo
...more
James
Feb 08, 2017 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst not quite in the same league as ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ (‘Purple Hibiscus’ is neither as accomplished nor as ambitious in scope) – ‘Purple Hibiscus’ is nevertheless a very strong and affecting novel.

Set again in Nigeria and although told against a backdrop of civil unrest and corruption, this is very much focussed on the family and on the characters immediate domestic situation. Told by, and seen through the eyes of the main protagonist – the desperately shy fifteen-year-old Kambili, this
...more
Anabel (inthebookcorner)
Left me in tears. It's great to read a book and be reminded of the reasons you love to read. Can't wait to read more Adichie.
Jill
Feb 18, 2013 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jill by: Kinga
Shelves: kinga-forced-me

3.5 stars

Kambili is fifteen, living at home with her brother, Jaja, her mother and her father, a wealthy businessman. Their home life though affluent and seemingly stable is an unhappy one with Kambili, Jaja and their mother walking on eggshells, living with the physically and emotionally abusive father, a religious, fanatical tyrant. Nigeria, politically unstable at this time, succumbs to a military coup.

This is author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's debut. The writing is flowing, easy to follow, t
...more
Rincey
Nov 25, 2015 Rincey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2015
Sarah (Presto agitato)
Chimamanda Adichie is one of those rare writers who has a gift for seeing as much as for writing. Her prose is evocative yet precise, and the story is carefully structured and well-paced. The most striking aspect of this novel, though, is the nuance of the characterizations. The main characters are all multi-layered, with aspects of their personalities revealed a little at a time, quietly, resulting in a picture that is rich and real. Even minor characters who make only brief appearances, like t ...more
Miguel
Dec 22, 2014 Miguel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Para mim, a religião (e não a fé, entenda-se) é um prurido do cérebro – causa-me comichão, excita-me a curiosidade, faz-me arrepelar os cabelos e esgadanhar-me por uma compreensão admissível. Num sentido mais lato, a religião funciona como mecanismo de resposta às agruras da vida – como não temos alcance sobre o que nos envolve, resolvemo-nos a imputar as responsabilidades a um ente superior, sumo e supremo.

A Cor do Hibisco surge na esteira destas preocupações – é uma obra acerca da intolerâ
...more
Book Riot Community
My official end-of-year project is reading backlist from authors I just fell in love with this year, and Adichie’s stunning debut novel got me off to a fantastic start. This is the story of 15-year-old Kambili and her brother Jaja. Their father is a Big Man in their Nigerian community. He is a devout Christian, and keeping his family on the narrow path of the faithful is his primary focus in life, no matter what it takes. He is verbally and physically abusive, and his family lives in fear of him ...more
Cheryl
Lovely and heart wrenching tale of a teenage girl who grew up in a privileged, yet religiously oppressive family led by a dominant, confused father and a docile, conforming mother.

I thought I would dislike this book because by page 16, it seemed to abruptly take me back a few years. None of that mattered by the time I was rooted in Kambili's narration, in fact, a huge chunk of the book stayed in a certain period, with smooth transitions at the end. So taken was I by Adichie's usage of dialect (I
...more
Pam
May 17, 2007 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenreads
This is a fantastic debut novel by a young Nigerian-born writer. This is a YA novel, but has very heavy material. Kambili is a 15 year old Nigerian girl born into privelege in her war torn country; however, her life is not what it seems. Her father, a wealthy business man and philanthropist, is also an abusive tyrant. The juxtaposition of the wealth of the ruling class and the abject poverty of the masses is paralled by the two faces of the family. The writing is beatiful and vivid. Because it p ...more
Candi
Jan 17, 2015 Candi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
“I laughed because Nsukka’s untarred roads coat cars with dust in the harmattan and with sticky mud in the rainy season. Because the tarred roads spring potholes like surprise presents and the air smells of hills and history and the sunlight scatters the sand and turns it into gold dust. Because Nsukka could free something deep inside your belly that would rise up to your throat and come out as a freedom song. As laughter.”

This debut novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is full of expressive prose
...more
Laura
I'm having trouble writing a review for this book because I enjoyed it so much but I'm not entirely sure I can fully convey that in my review.

The book is set in Nigeria where there is political unrest and this plays part in the storyline but without being over the top. The story focuses on a family of four, mother, father and two children. To the outside world the father is a hugely generous man who likes to share his wealth around with everyone, but at home he is a religious nut who's physicall
...more
Ben Vizzle
Apr 21, 2008 Ben Vizzle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ben
Ms. Houseman
World Literature
5/5/08
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Purple Hibiscus
New York: Anchor Books, 2003
307 pp. $15
1-4000-7694-3
Book Review

“Purple Hibiscus”, written by contemporary Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, tells the story of a lonely and reclusive 15-year-old girl, Kambili, in present-day Nigeria. The tumultuous social, political, and religious climate, typical to that time in Nigeria, permeates every aspect of Kambili’s life. But Kambili’s situation is different than that of m
...more
Ena Hasečić
Nov 28, 2016 Ena Hasečić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Ovaj roman nas vodi u grad Enuguu u Nigeriji i prati priču o jednoj, na izgled, običnoj porodici. Otac, majka i dvoje veoma uspješne djece koji žive povlaštenim životom. Iza te savršene slike krije se ustvari porodica na čijem čelu je religiozni fanatik koji svoja vjerovanja nameće supruzi i djeci, petanestogodišnjoj Kambili i njenom starijem bratu Jaji. Namećući im svoje radikalne statove on nekada od njih ne dobiva ono što očekuje pa ih svirepo kažnjava i nekada u tome prelazi granicu. Jednom ...more
Thomas
A great coming-of-age story about fifteen-year-old Kambili, an obedient girl who watches as Nigeria falls under a military coup. At the same time her own family struggles to keep their personal cracks sealed. Kambili's father, a man who values religion above all else, abuses Kambili and her brother, ignores their ailing pagan grandfather, and helps hundreds of poor people all at once. When her father sends Kambili and her brother away to stay with their educated aunt and her free-spirited childr ...more
Lola
What a compelling character Adechie has created in Kambilli, i was pulled into her reclusive world, her shyness was so well illustrated it brought me back to my own adolescence when i so desperately wanted to comment on the world around me but my voice wouldn't come. Adechie's talent for using clear cut simplistic writing to depict complex situations was brilliant. Purple Hibiscus is filled with so many themes and well thought out contrasts that i cannot imagine readers walking away from this wi ...more
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013).

She was born in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At nineteen, Chimamanda left for the U.S. to study communication at Drexel Universit
...more
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“We did that often, asking each other questions whose answers we already knew. Perhaps it was so that we would not ask the other questions, the ones whose answers we did not want to know.” 100 likes
“There are people, she once wrote, who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time. It is like telling a crawling baby who tries to walk, and then falls back on his buttocks, to stay there. As if the adults walking past him did not all crawl, once.” 100 likes
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