Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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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 generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.

As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.

Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.


About Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta and The Iowa Review among other literary journals, and she received an O. Henry Prize in 2003. She is a 2005-2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.
Published April 17, 2012 by Algonquin Books. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Travel, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Purple Hibiscus

Kirkus Reviews

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Though poor, Auntie Ifeoma’s house is filled with laughter, discussion, opinions and freedom, so different from the tightly regimented schedule Kambili and Jaja are used to that at first Kambili barely opens her mouth.

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The Guardian

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Some Great Thing by Colin McAdam Cape £12.99, pp372 Long for This World by Michael Byers Granta £15.99, pp244 Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Fourth Estate £12.99, pp320 Colin McAdam's first novel, Some Great Thing, is set in Ottawa, Canada's capital and a place lacking both the franc...

Mar 21 2004 | Read Full Review of Purple Hibiscus

Star Tribune

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Among other images of imprisonment, Adichie writes of étagères filled with treasured china figurines (destroyed, of course, by the father), and actual jail cells, "so crowded that some people have to stand so that others can lie down," where Jaja is locked up for three years after the father is ...

Oct 18 2003 | Read Full Review of Purple Hibiscus


This unrest is external to the major foundation of the novel that is rooted in the evolution of the disintegration of the Achike family, but Ms.

May 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Purple Hibiscus

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

The psychological bullying from her father produces palpable physical effects on the narrator – she develops a fever in response to a crisis, or her legs feel “loose-jointed.” When she gleans some approval, the joy and relief are also physically palpable: her mouth feels “full of melting sugar;”...

Aug 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Purple Hibiscus

Curious Book Fans

As this story is told by Kambili, the staggering effect that this military group are having on the country almost loses its impact as her world is completely consumed with keeping her dad happy at all times and at all costs which shows you how much power he wields over his family, and also is a t...

Mar 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Purple Hibiscus

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