Friday, 16 March 2018

Purple Hibiscus

   I remember reading this book for the first time in January 2005.I had taken it to school after the Christmas holidays without reading it first because I had a bunch of other books to get through while I was at home. I had heard some of the hype surrounding the book and I knew it would have good exchange value with the other novel freaks...I worshipped everything white at that time so I'm pretty sure I wasn't expecting so much from her.
     I was wrong.Totally hooked well before I was done with the first ten pages. I related to Kambili so strongly. The appearance of wealth when you really have very little that is yours in every sense. The discomfort of shyness when your mind is filled with a thousand things you'd rather say. The awkwardness that comes with being broken by fear. It all felt so familiar even though her story had nothing to do with my life.

    The sensations! I felt every emotion Chimamanda wanted me to feel. Hated Kambili's father, felt afraid for her brother while admiring him, exasperated by Kambili's mother, had a crush on her priest, strong love for her aunt and grandfather. I could smell and taste things! I know its probably because as a Nigerian I'm familiar with the sights and sounds of the details in the book but do you know what it takes for an author to make you Taste! I felt the heat and buzzing mosquitos. I felt the anticipation that comes with being a Christmas visitor in the village.
    Reading the book again as an adult made me...understand her father. He really did love them in the way he knew best. He really did think he was doing the right thing by refusing to enable his father's "idolatry''. Unfortunate that he missed all the scriptures that would have told him he was so terribly wrong. As a Christian the oppressive nature of her father's religion really hurt my heart. I hate seeing Christianity being used as a weapon to cudgel people. Its not supposed to be that way but it's the truth of many people's lives and experiences.
   When I finally settle down professionally and I begin to build my hard copy library, I'd definitely be buying this book as it has great a reread value. Chimamanda Adichie is a national treasure. She taught me that the term ''first book'' is not synonymous with amateur nonsense and she helped me Consciously accept that being an impactful Nigerian writer has nothing to do with gender.
      5 stars!


  1. It looks like a great book! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I have never heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting. Goes to reading list :)



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