Review: Purple Hibiscus
'Morality, as well as the sense of taste, is relative.' - Obiora, Page 156
Kambili along with her brother Jaja, have to face two extreme versions of their father, Eugene, each day. A wealthy businessman, Eugene is loved by the community and the Catholic Church for his generosity; and the media praises him for leading the fight for human rights by exposing the real truth behind the military government that is causing political unrest in Nigeria. At home, Eugene has established a reign of terror where his wife and kids seek to please him yet are never up to his standards of the ideal catholic family.
When political turmoil forces Jaja and Kambili to move to Nsuka with their aunt Ifeoma and their cousins, Kambili and Jaja learn about unconditional love, freedom, laughter and defiance. For the first time in her life, Kambili experiences a deep sentiment and longing never felt before as she develops romantic feelings that change her whole perspective on life and family. And for the first time ever, Jaja develops a rebellious spirit and starts defying his father’s commands.
By telling the story through Kambili’s shyness, Chimamanda implores the reader to focus on each character. As the story unfolds, the reader identifies and grows fond of each character- even Eugene. The main themes being love and freedom, you get to watch each character grow out of their cocoon. Like a mother watching their first born taking their first steps, the book grips the reader to follow each step the characters make. The reader laughs with the characters and cries with them as well. With the story’s surprising twists, I guarantee you will not put down the book till the story is over.
Would I recommend this book? I don’t know why you are still reading this. Grab a book, snacks and please do not forget a box of tissues. Trust me… you can thank me later.