Nigeria: a complex and complicated country. Within its borders lives a fifteen-year-old girl in a house isolated from the chaos and poverty of the country. She shares her roof with her older brother, her mother, and a strict, religious father who respected in his community yet violent with his family. Although Kambili’s home seems far away from the realities of Nigeria, it echoes the nature of the country, molded by violence and chaos.
“Fear. I was familiar with fear, yet each time I felt it, it was never the same as the other times, as though it came in different flavors and colors.”
The Quick Brew
Purple Hibiscus is the story of Kambili, an adolescent girl in Nigeria under a military dictatorship, and her brother Jaja, growing up under the influence of their father, who raised them with strict Catholic rules, and their aunt, who offers them a different worldview.
The Quick Stir
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has successfully woven the realities of her country into a gripping tale that touches the reader. She has drawn a very realistic picture of the long history of colonialism and the people whose religious beliefs and cultures were assimilated under the influence of missionaries, those who were trapped in between and conflicted with each other, military coups, journalists and writers who fell victim to unsolved murders under dictatorial rule, and activists who were imprisoned without question.
“There are people, she once wrote, who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time. It is like telling a crawling baby who tries to walk, and then falls back on his buttocks, to stay there. As if the adults walking past him did not all crawl, once.”
While highlighting all of Nigeria’s complexities, she has managed to keep a pace that keeps the reader’s interest alive at all times, taking care not to let her narrative style overshadow what she tells.
In The Times Literary Supplement, especially in her second home in the United States, Adichie was described as “the standout” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young writers who have succeeded in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.
The Quick Pour
Promising freedom, this book navigates the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood, wandering between love and hate, old and new gods.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
About Our H360 Book Picks
We are dedicated to celebrating all of the amazing and beautiful cultures from around the world. We have curated each book in our H360 Book Picks to show an authentic and comprehensive view of different journeys & lifestyles in our global cultures. We are pleased to highlight fresh perspectives that transcend certain preconceived concepts about who we all can be. Each of our H360 Book Picks has been selected to nourish your alignment.