Purple Hibiscus: A Novel

Front Cover
Algonquin Books, 2003 - Fiction - 307 pages
54 Reviews

Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home--a home that is silent and suffocating.

As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father's authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins' laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.

Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

A lovely piece of storytelling. - LibraryThing
The ending was sad and shocking. - LibraryThing
An excellent insight into Nigeria too. - LibraryThing
And what craftsmanship in the writing! - LibraryThing
Gave me a great insight in Nigerian culture. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mirrani - LibraryThing

The words "beautiful", "touching", "amazing", "wonderful" and "enjoyable" don't even come close to describing this book. I think the only word I can find to describe it is "real", which doesn't at all ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - zeborah - LibraryThing

How does anyone ever trust the pillars of the community when it's such a cliché? This is a powerful depiction of a girl stunted by growing up under an abusively controllling father. And of the effects ... Read full review

All 7 reviews »

Selected pages


Palm Sunday
Before Palm Sunday
After Palm Sunday
The Present

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, published by Algonquin in 2003, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her novel Half of a Yellow Sun won the Orange Broadband Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck, was the winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. A recipient of a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

Bibliographic information