Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a 2003 O Henry Prize winner, and was shortlisted for the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing and the 2004 Orange Prize. In Purple Hibiscus, she recounts the story of a young Nigerian girl searching for freedom. Although her father is greatly respected within their community, 15-year-old Kambili knows a frighteningly strict and abusive side to this man. In many ways, she and her family lead a privileged life, but Kambili and her brother, Jaja, are often punished for failing to meet their father’s expectations. After visiting her aunt and cousins, Kambili dreams of being part of a loving family. But a military coup brings new tension to Nigeria and her home, and Kambili wonders if her dreams will ever be fulfilled. Adichie’s striking and poetic language reveals a land and a family full of strife, but fighting to survive. A rich narration by South African native Lisette Lecat perfectly complements this inspiring tale.
©2003 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"One of the best novels to come out of Africa in years." (The Baltimore Sun)
“Prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes. . . . Adichie's understanding of a young girl's heart is so acute that her story ultimately rises above its setting and makes her little part of Nigeria seem as close and vivid as Eudora Welty's Mississippi.” (The Boston Globe)
"A sensitive and touching story of a child exposed too early to religious intolerance and the uglier side of the Nigerian state." (J. M. Coetzee)
I liked Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun much better, but this book, once you get into it, is really good.
I love the fact that Igboland plays a prominent role in Adichie's stories. I'm from Tanzania, but Adichie makes me feel like I now know Nsukka and Enugu, though I've never been. It's refreshing to hear names and places that are historically accurate, and not generic. The story does an excellent job of telling a story, the foundations of which could be found in any culture, and making it a distinctly African story. Great job!
There were definitely times when her South African accent came through or when her pronunciation of certain Igbo words were a bit off, but it won't be noticeable to most listeners.
I listened to it on a cross-country road trip, so, yes.
The book is very impressive, I could not stop listening until I finished. Still out of words... The only thing I did not like was sound quality. The narrator was good, great dramatic reading, but in the recording we can often hear her swallow (which can be annoying), as well as people coughing on the background.
I found it hard to get going in the first chapters, but the story eventually grabbed me and at some point brought me to tears. Unlike a father lacking creativity of influencing his children to do better, it was refreshing to see a woman headed home thriving in difficult conditions, whilst she filled her home with love, she made her children raise the bar not out of fear but because the knew they have it within them to rise above, she natured their varying talents and promoted self expression though with limited resources. A story of parallels of religion, hypocrisy and love, poverty and abundance, a brief history lesson on Nigeria's political culture.
I think because i have also read There was a country by Chinua Achebe, which to a certain extent complements the historical references to Nsuka, i found myself relating to Purple Hibiscus especially around the government, school leaders and activists, in Nsuka, as well as the Igbo people.
There are great books i haven't finished because of poor performance, she may have made rare mistakes in places but she performed very well such that i could identify characters just based on her voice delivery.
While I adore Adichie's prose and am fascinated by the glimpse into Nigerian culture, I found the character of the father so polarized in his public vs. private behavior and his horrific treatment of his family hard to believe and hard to take.
As to the recording, the narrator's breathing was often so clearly heard as to be distracting. I loved her performance and attribute this to poor production technique.
I love all of Chimamanda's stories they are so wonderfully written and tell beautiful stories, but I hate the way she voices these books. I prefer Adjoa Andoh, she's always spectacular!
I could tell when she was taking breathes, her mouth made a noise like it was wet, and she didn't voice the characters very well.
I really can't finish this book right now. I'm going to read something else first because it's really annoying to listen too although I enjoy the story.
This story transported me to west Africa. It is an incredible story about complicated family relationships, politics and religion. I love to the audio version particularly for the pronunciation of the Igbo words and phrases that are sprinkled throughout the book.
The most memorable moment for me in this narrative is when Kambili finally finds her voice. Many unfortunate things happened to both the protagonist and her brother, Jaja, but the story is told in such a matter of fact way. These characters were not seeking sympathy although they deserved much.These children are fighting to gain the respect of their generous but tyrannical father who is incredibly abusive towards Kambili and Jaja. This narrative was so incredibly tragic but so beautifully
written...Adiche has quickly become one of my favorite writers...
I loved this book. I can relate to this story in lots of ways as a fellow African. Chimamanda is unbelievably talented.
My favorite character is Aunti Efiyoma (I may have spelled her name wrong). she represents all the hard working mothers, educators and leaders of Africa.
The narrator did a very good job too.
NO !!!!! The Narrator couldn't pronounce most of the Igbo words used in the book. It was quite annoying. I
Anything Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes is like gold from Heaven to me but I found Lisette Lecat's performance wanting. It's not that she doesn't narrate well but she tends to take long pauses in breaks between narration that become distracting because you don't know whether she's pausing to start a new chapter or simply continuing the paragraph. Plus you can't hear her breathing and mouth sounds so clearly it's a bit distracting. This is less about her performance and more so the sound quality engineering in the studio. Overall this didn't deter me from enjoying this spellbinding and moving story.
A story about violence told with delicate strokes- a daughter caught in between her devotion for her father, a pious man 'who thinks he is God', and her desire to enjoy life. The pace of the narration is a little slow compared to other audio books but it suits this novel well. A very pleasant listen.
"Loved this book"
This is an excellent read. Some complex characters, and a compelling coming-of-age drama played out against an all-too-real background in Nigerian history. Very well narrated.
"Not for the fainthearted or sensitive"
The story is written in the first person from the point of view of an emotionally damaged adolescent black Nigerian girl in an extremely Catholic and rich family. As all of these things are totally alien to me, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this very much (I have it because it was obligatory reading for my son at school). However, it was all rather gripping, albeit as far removed from my own life experience as Harry Potter. The details of life in Nigeria rang true, but I suppose what struck me most was the contrast between the gentle writing style and the ambient violence. Although there are no direct descriptions of graphic violence, some of the events are genuinely disquieting. This is not a book I will forget quickly.
Intriguing emotional justified
Listen to this book on audible. I like the way the book was written, the story line was great detailing what exactly happened in a country foreign to me therfore I was able to picture it well. I felt angry a lot of the times and ashamed to say I loved the ending! Cant wait to read Adichie's other books.
The one thing I did not like was an English accent reading a Nigerian book. It took me a long while to get my head around it. She did well in trying to pronounce the words but I would have like to hear the author herself or similar read the book.
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