Purple Hibiscus, Hardback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche tells the evocative story of 15-year old Kambili's life growing up in Nigeria during a military coup.This set text for AQA GCSE is an ideal reader for any Key Stage 4 classroom. The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili's world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her repressive father.

Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, and more prayer.

When Nigeria begins to fall apart during a military coup, Kambili's father is involved mysteriously in the political crisis, while Kambili and her brother are sent away to live with their aunt.

In this house, full of energy and laughter, Kambili discovers life and love - and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family. Centring on the promise of freedom and the pain and exhilaration of adolescence, Purple Hibiscus is the extraordinary debut of a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the prize-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.


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The words "beautiful", "touching", "amazing", "wonderful" and "enjoyable" don't even come close to describing this book. I think the only word I can find to describe it is "real", which doesn't at all reflect the perfection of writing or storytelling achieved in the pages. The author made the shortlist for the Women's Prize for Writing and is more than deserving of the notice. Her words are chosen perfectly and strung together with just enough length to make the point without rambling on. There are times the words are so well chosen that the shortest sentence makes you blink with the amount of knowledge it contains. Every character feels as real as if they were flesh and blood, standing in front of you, inviting you to their house or walking with you to their car. As I was reading the book I felt as if I had developed relationships with each of them, I would feel relief when reading about some and feel my body tense in preparation for dealing with others. I kept this book with me wherever I went so I could bring myself back to this community in Africa as frequently as possible. A world so far away from my own, became suddenly familiar to me with every page I turned.The only times I found the story difficult were when the first person narrative dealt with the abuse happening in the home, which is where the word "real" comes in, because I was so caught up in the story that I felt I had to pause to protect myself the way someone would hide from what was to come from the anger of an abuser. I can honestly say that I felt as if I lived with Kambili and her family for a short time and that I will most likely read this book again, so that I can make a return visit in the future.

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