Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Brajesh's Review : Purple Hibiscus

The Purple Hibiscus is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's debut novel. This is the story of a young teenaged girl struggling with growing-up, love and family conflict. The story is set in the background of Nigerian political turmoil and religious conversion and fanatical beliefs of converts.

I was quietly sucked into the simple and structured life of Kambili and fanatical and complex life of Eugene (her Papa) through a narrative which was thick, rich and layered. As the story grew, I was torn between hating Eugene and trying to appreciate his complex persona. In the end his religiously anchored justifications were unable to hide the evil of violent intolerance.

While the book gave lots of insights into the Nigerian life of 70s-80s, it wasn’t able to keep me emotionally involved beyond the first half. With such a powerful emotional narrative, the novel’s inability to keep me invested throughout, was a let-down for me.

The book also includes a short essay titled “Tiny Wonders” at the end of the novel. This explains the autobiographical inspirations for the book, from Adichie’s early years in Nigeria.

Her next novel “Half of a yellow sun” seems to have made a greater splash in the African-English-Literature genre, but I am not entirely convinced to pick it up as my next read.

Rating : 3 / 5

Also read Kim's Review of Purple Hibiscus


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