Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Another book etched off my list! After thoroughly enjoying Half of a Yellow Sun, I gave the author another go around and I’m happy that the outcome was similar. Now I stopped reading at a voracious pace this year, heck, I believe this is my 1st completed book this year! I understand when you (yes YOU) say there isn’t enough time to read a good book, but time is what you make it, and are you really living your best life if you cant find time to do what you like/love?

 

Let’s get to the subject matter! Purple Hibiscus

 

Purple Hibiscus is a 307 page novel beautifully written by Chimamanda N. Adichie. While the setting of the book is in Nigeria, I believe any person from any race can ride along as she plays tour guide through Enugu, Nsukka, and Abba (state/towns in Nigeria). The book was easy to read and I had a hard time putting it down as the plot development kept me wanting more. The book centers around a family of 4; Papa Achike, Mama Achike, Jaja (son) and Kambili (daughter/main character). Papa is a very strict Catholic who expects nothing short of excellence from his wife and kids. Strict is an understatement as no one in the family has any personality due to Papa’s regimen. The Achike’s are very wealthy and the pride of their hometown/village in Abba. The book gets really interesting when the two children meet their aunt and cousins who are less privileged but a much closer family.

 

As a Catholic man, who grew up in Nigeria, this book was nostalgic as I reminisced on my time at St Leo’s Catholic Church and primary/elementary school. It also was a reminder that African men need to get better at displaying love. Fear is not love and instilling fear in your family will only cause damage in the future. The book also touches on religion vs faith vs culture; these 3 things are very different and important in life. The Achike family shunned cultural practices and ignored faith due to religion (in my opinion). I personally will always respect my culture and the culture of others and put my faith in God above anything.

 

Well, I don’t want to reveal any spoilers! This book will keep you entertained. It is gender neutral and I think there is a lesson for readers of all ages. I loved it and will pick up another book by the author later this year.

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