Genres: Historical fiction
I’ve read Chimamanda’s books by the inverse order of publication: so this one was my most recent read by her, and one can definitely tell how much richer her writing has become with each book. This was such an engaging read, so heart-breaking and beautiful.
Purple Hibiscus follows the story of Kambili, a fifteen-year-old girl who lives under the strict rules of her father, a wealthy and deeply religious man. Due to a coup that puts Kambili’s family in danger, she and her brother Jaja stay with their aunt and her children, whose lives are filled with laughter, struck by poverty and so entirely foreign to both of them.
Through Kambili’s perspective you get little by little glimpses of the abuse she and her family suffer, and what it can do to a person. Her narration is filled with both awe and fear for her father, and it’s very moving. I expected this book to be more depressing, but it really isn’t; there is hope and growth and love. I was wondering if the length of the book wouldn’t leave too many things out of it and feel too rushed, but it didn’t feel like that at all. It definitely stays in your mind for a really long time after you finish it. This was powerful and heartbreaking, although I loved her other books a lot more than this one, I highly recommend it!