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Purple Hibiscus

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  50,414 ratings  ·  4,715 reviews
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 generou ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Algonquin Books (first published October 30th 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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D.N. Robertson
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  50,414 ratings  ·  4,715 reviews


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Ebony
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 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
Orsodimondo
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nigeria, africa
BIAFRA
Eccomi qua, sono tornato, sono stato via per qualche giorno.

Sono andato in Nigeria: ero lì quando c’è stato un colpo di stato e le cose si sono messe davvero male, la gente spariva e non se ne sapeva più nulla.
Oppure, veniva uccisa, ma i responsabili restavano impuniti e apparentemente ignoti, anche se tutti sapevano che erano proprio gli stessi che avevano fatto il colpo di stato.
Il paese sembrava in un progressivo stato di decadimento, come se fosse avviato a un’ineluttabile scompars
...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
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
...more
Lisa
Aug 02, 2011 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 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.
·Karen·
Mar 20, 2015 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
Emer
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emer 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
Helene Jeppesen
Mar 07, 2015 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
Beatriz
Reto #45 PopSugar 2019: Un libro cuyo protagonista pertenece al mismo grupo marginalizado que el autor / en inglés "own-voice books"
Que Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie escribe bien, nadie lo puede poner en duda. La lectura traspasa los sentimientos, emociones y el despertar de la adolescencia de la joven Kambili, la hija menor de una familia privilegiada y adinerada en una Nigeria convulsa políticamente. Pero esta familia no es todo lo envidiable que pudiera parecer desde afuera. Tanto la madre como
...more
Julie Christine
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
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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I was pleased to open this book as one of the picks during a year + with the "Postal Book Swap F" group. This is our second year send books around and the picks are entirely secret until everyone has seen everything.

I had previously read and enjoyed Americanah and always thought I might go back and read Adichie's previous works. I also have Half of a Yellow Sun on my shelf, unread.

I loved this story, and it resonated deeply because of my own experiences with my own father. And I think she does
...more
Krista Regester
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purple Hibiscus is a brilliant read, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes with understated passion. I love the story and how the family interacts with each other is so interesting.

Why I have to give it a 4 star: Lisette Lecat narrated the audio. Although she is a south African native... she is white... and she has a British accent. I find this pretty inappropriate and distracting since this entire book is based on a young girl of color and her family. Because of this, I felt I was unable to conn
...more
James
Feb 08, 2017 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
João Carlos
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2015, 2015best, favorites

“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 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
Sonja Arlow
3.5 stars

There is something unique yet familiar about this coming of age story.

Kambili and her brother Jaja grows up in luxury with a highly respected father during a time period where Nigeria is under military reign. But behind closed doors this father rules with an iron fist and almost fanatical religious zeal.

The atmosphere of living with an abusive parent was captured so well that it made the reading difficult at times. The author also shows the destructive nature of holding on to a belief t
...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
Jill
Feb 18, 2013 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
Anabel (inthebookcorner)
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Emir Ibañez
Este libro nos cuenta la historia de una familia nigeriana muy privilegiada a través de los ojos de Kambili, la hija menor del matrimonio. Es una de esas historias que carecen de un "argumento" propiamente dicho porque lo que más importa de esta historia es el desarrollo de los personajes y el contexto en el que se lleva a cabo.
Nos cuenta la dinámica y rutina de una familia que tiene a la cabeza a un fanático religioso: las exigencias y ritos obligatorios, los castigos que les impone si lo desob
...more
Candi
Jan 17, 2015 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
Irene
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Esta historia es un viaje de un crecimiento personal. Una novela maravillosa, capaz de erizar la piel.
De cómo poco a poco el mundo y la vida se va abriendo camino, como los pétalos nacen del capullo de una flor, revelando libertades, ideas, derechos, sueños y anhelos......
Una protagonista luchadora, una heroína del siglo XXI.

Guau!!
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
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
Kaitlin
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I picked up after having read the other novels by Chimamanda, and I have to say I was a little dubious about if her debut would be as good. I am happy to report that it's actually one of my favourites by Adichie, as she really draws the reader in and managed to make me enjoy the characters and story in a setting fairly foreign to me.

This is the story of Kimbili and Jaja, a sister and brother who are part of a strictly religious family in Nigeria. Their father is known by everyone
...more
Raul Bimenyimana
Beautiful storytelling from Chimamanda. Set in 1980s Nigeria Kambili, the protagonist of the story, is coming of age in an oppressive household and a dictatorial military regime.

Chimamanda writes of abuse and violence through Kambili's father and the military regime, of the effects of colonialism and the erasure of traditional beliefs and systems and the conflicts that exist because of it.

I think this was such a good and bold debut, especially considering Chimamanda was just twenty six when thi
...more
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Diversity in All ...: Purple Hibiscus (July 2018) 8 42 Aug 03, 2018 07:22AM  
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  • Everything Good Will Come
  • Nervous Conditions
  • The Boy Next Door
  • Ancestor Stones
  • Measuring Time
  • So Long a Letter
  • God's Bits of Wood
  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives
  • You Must Set Forth at Dawn
  • Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria
  • Black Mamba Boy
  • I Do Not Come to You by Chance
  • Butterfly Burning
  • GraceLand
  • The Heart of Redness
  • Changes: A Love Story
  • The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
  • Powder Necklace
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria.

Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won t
...more
“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.” 131 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.” 130 likes
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