Monday, October 29, 2018

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus is a historical fiction book about the oppressed lifestyle of a Nigerian family that I found at my school library. Taking place in the 1960s during the Nigerian Civil War, Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja live a sheltered life in a rich family. They are completely blocked off from the rest of their world, surrounded only by religion, fear, and pain. As the military coup begins to take over the county, the children are sent away to live with their Aunt, who introduces them to freedom, laughter, and happiness. As the country falls apart, her family does as well, and Kambili must hold her family together after a tragedy long enough to escape to America.

This book was amazing! I loved the parallels between the war in their county and the war inside their home. I found myself not only fascinated with Kambili's strength and heart, but also the culture and the history of the country. In addition, the aspect of religious conflict in their culture was massive, half the population sticking with native polytheistic values while the other half, including Kambili's father, assimilates into the Church. It's a whole different set of beliefs between her father and her aunt, and it was amazing to watch how both influenced and gave her strength to conquer the harsh, unforgiving days she had ahead.

Kambili doesn't understand what is wrong with her life, she has worshiped her father and always tried to please him. It was amazing watching her first laugh and the first time she ever smiled with her aunt and cousins. Her inner turmoil was powerful, and Kambili found herself trying to save her family at all costs. She is brave and magnificent.

The symbolism of the purple flower was incredible. In darkness and oppression, the Purple Hibiscus is defiance and freedom, representing the beauty that can shine if one allows themselves to never give up, and always keep fighting against brutality. This flower is their beacon of hope, and the only thing more powerful than fear is hope.

I highly recommend this book!

Title: Purple Hibiscus
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 307
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

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