Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Purple Hibiscus

Title: Purple Hibiscus
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

ISBN # 0007766653

Publisher: Harper Perennial

First Published: 2004

307 pages

Format: Paperback

Rating: 7/10

Longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the 2004
Orange Prize A haunting tale of an Africa and an adolescence undergoing tremendous changes by a talented young Nigerian writer. 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 and fanatically religious 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, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to live with their aunt. In this house, full of energy and laughter, she discovers life and love - and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I think it may have been a little over-hyped for me as, although I enjoyed it and found the warped relationships in a family where the father is a violent religious fanatic interesting, I thought it lacked intensity.

There was so much promise, but the underlying threat never really made itself felt in any dramatic way - I thought more could have been made of it.

I wonder how much, if any, of this story was autobiographical...?


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