Aug 30, 2012
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Original Publication Date: 2003
Paperback: April 2012
Purple Hibiscus shows three different sides of life in Nigeria; the rich side, the poverty stricken side, and the side ruled by overwhelming religious ferver.
Kambili and her brother Jaja have the rare advantage of being quite wealthy as their father owns several snack and soda factories. He's a very important man in the community and gives away plenty of his wealth to feed, clothe and send many children to private Catholic school. He is well loved by everyone.........but deeply feared by his family.
What people don't see behind closed doors are the regular beatings, breakings, scaldings and bruises that occur to his wife and his children. Their house may be large but there there is no tv, no radio, nothing but prayer, tightly controlled schedules.... and pain. Occasionally a family member shows up in the hospital, but because Father is so well respected, it is accepted that these things happen.
As the violence grows stronger and the teenager's own attitudes and strengths grow into defiance, something is going to have to change...before someone dies.
This is a very well written book and it details many aspects of life in Nigeria, including food and celebrations. You feel for the characters, you understand their conflicts, and you hold your breath as you hope for a solution to their horrible situation.
When one comes, it's out of left field and totally unexpected.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at email@example.com