Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Purple Hibiscus (P.S.)
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£6.11+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 3 October 2014
What a terrific book this is. There is so much packed into its comparatively short span. First and foremost, it's a rite of passage novel, with the narrator/heroine growing up sexually, emotionally, politically and above all in her perception of her father. Then again it's an insightful study in domestic tyranny, wisely eschewing black and white judgements about the father's behaviour. And it's also a wonderful location book, bringing Nigeria to life without indulging in any purple prose. The construction is masterly, and Adichie creates atmosphere and character without any cost to pace. That's quite an achievement. I seldom give five stars but in this instance anything less would be unfair, though it has to be said that occasionally the claustrophobia of the parental home makes it rather grim reading.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 February 2009
It was so long ago that I read 'Purple Hibiscus' but it still remains one of my favourite reads of the decade. I felt to write this review since Adichie's follow up 'Half of a Yellow Sun' has garnered so much praise - which I feel is by and large unwarranted in comparison to 'Purple Hibiscus' - whilst her debut remains the strongest indicator of what a formidable writer Adichie can be.

So subtle and understated this book is simply far too well written for it to be as easy as it seems. Kambili is at once irritatingly passive and completely sympathy-worthy. The issues addressed here - religion, hypocrisy, coming-of-age, domestic violence - would be derivative and clichéd in the hands of a lesser writer. Yet the author pulls it off - in fact so well that its precisely what makes her debut stand out. Unlike '...Yellow Sun' Adichie does not rely on sensationalist plot devices such as violence, sex and profanity to drive this story along. In fact not a lot happens in regards to plot but so much character development is going on. I found it a lot easier to care and engage with the characters in 'Purple Hibiscus' than the follow up and there seems to be a lot more freedom in the way Adichie writes it, devoid of the self-consciousness and what seemed too much like insincerity that marred 'Half of a Yellow Sun' for me.

Purple Hibiscus was a pleasant surprise. Paced well, long enough to get the point across without overstaying its welcome, I highly recommend it. I bought it on a whim and having read it I was chagrined Adichie did not get more recognition for it. It's a prodigiously good debut and her only problem might be matching or surpassing it. I will read '..Hibiscus' again one day to ensure it has not lost its sparkle.

The fact 'Hibiscus..' has been eclipsed by Adichie winning the Orange Prize for 'Half of a Yellow...' is a classic example of why people should not wait to be told what to read by the likes of Richard and Judy and the mainstream. In short, we shouldn't fall too often into the trap of literary populism, deciding to like a book based on its exposure regardless of its quality. I think to overlook '...Hibiscus' is to miss what is really special about Adichie as a writer.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 October 2014
This is the second book I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it. She creates the atmosphere of tension and fear in the child's house, while giving an insight into the father's motives for his behavior. There is extreme violence in this book, but it is so subtly described that you really understand the everyday nature of it as being no big thing and even more the justification the family all feel at being treated so badly.

If you ever read Hatter's Castle by A J Cronin, this is a similar book in that you just keep wondering how they will escape and stop blaming themselves.

I loved Americanah by the same author but this is just an amazing book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 April 2009
I fall in love with this writer reading "Half of a yellow sun" (which I strongly recommend to everyone, by the way), so I decided to buy straightaway her debut novel. I'm very glad I did it! "Purple hibiscus" is very well written book, that brings you into contemporary Nigeria in a way quite unexpected for a European reader. The story unfolds around the character of 16-year-old Kambili, a shy young girl who lives only to please her despotic and violent father. Through her eyes and thoughts we will learn how difficult can be even to smile or talk when you live under a constant sense of fear like the one Kambili, her brother and her mother feel every day at home.
I read this novel shortly after reading "Things fall apart" by Chinua Achebe, so that I could appreciate the strong connections between the two novels, the continuity and the differences between past and present Nigeria.
I do really hope to see other Chimamanda's books published in the future...
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 October 2014
I really enjoyed this book set by my book club. The descriptions of the very strict father's treatment of his family were pretty grim reading but modern Africa wins in the end. It just shows what influence the missionaries had over the vulnerable Africans when they went to spread the Word.Sometimes not so good! Ardichie writes beautifully and I am looking forward to reading Half of the Yellow Sun now.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 20 November 2007
I like this easy style of writing and the African portrait. The story is traumatic in parts although one that starts off quite calmly lulling the reader into thinking the father in the story is just a bit hot headed. Normality in this family is not to make a sound whilst being mercilessly tortured for the slightest so called misdemeanour. I am certain that there is much truth in the sort of lives these people lead and the suffering that can go on in many places in the world. The hopelessness of the situation is quite tragic. I think I prefer Chimamanda's second book half of a yellow sun which has a much more complex story line. Nevertheless a fantastic effort for a very young writer.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 August 2013
Having read other books by this author I was interested to read this one. Generally a number of very thought-provoking insights on Nigeria, the reality of everyday life for the middle classes as well as villagers, the effect of religion and also familial abuse - frankly not that different wherever it takes place. Its not a 5 star because I found the ending rather unsatisfactory - I needed to know more! However, we discussed it at my bookclub and not everyone agreed. We all gave it a positive rating however.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 April 2008
What a fantastic read. A book full of warm, rich characters. Characters that come alive, as the reader shares their anger and disappointment at the fate life has in store for them. For any readers not familiar with Nigeria the usual two themes continually crop up: education and religion. But this is, at least, true to life.
For readers who enjoyed Purple Hibiscus, I heartily recommend another book on Nigerian life, albeit one based in modern day England: One Love Two Colours: The unlikely marriage of a Punk Rocker & his African Queen, by Margaret Oshindele. This is the true life account of a Yoruba woman and her marriage to an Englishman.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 November 2015
A moving and complex books with an unexpected late twist in the story. I found it compelling reading and a sad picture of life in Nigeria. It had a few painful insights into the terrible condescension shown by European intellectuals to their African colleagues. A good read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 May 2014
This is a complex story beautifully told in such a way as to hold you enthralled to the last word. It is the story of a family, religion and a young girls first sexual stirrings but it is also the story of a country and its people, of the past, the present and imagined futures. It is all the more remarkable for being a first novel by the Author.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here