I'm grateful to Mary in Spokane for tipping me the wink that we are due for the next book from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun to be published here in August and already on my "will have to buy in hardback-can't wait for the paperback" list. I was beside myself over Purple Hibiscus to the point where I waxed lyrical in an Amazon review which I've nabbed back and repeated here for anyone who may have missed this book when it came out.Forgive the Amazon style over blog style review but I've left it unedited as reading this again reminds me just how near to tears this book had me and that rarely happens these days.
"I picked this book up intending to read a few pages in, just to see what
I thought and actually hardly put it down again until I had finished it.
It is a fantastic insight into life in Nigeria in unsettled political times with the overarching conflict of the Catholic religion versus indigenous faiths almost subsuming everything else.
Kambili and Jaja's father is a prosperous and generous Catholic businessman respected and revered in the wider community for his support of charities yet behind closed doors he is a despotic, controlling and ultimately extremely violent man.
Helpless and seemingly powerless, the family can do nothing but tolerate Papa's violence which despite it's brutality still does nothing to affect their love for him until finally and very unexpectedly the power does shift.Adichie creates the family who have everything yet have nothing and then contrasts them powerfully with another branch of the family who seemingly have nothing yet have it all and it works.
She delineates fear superbly;the reader really feels and lives what this family are going through.There is a wonderful intermingling of local dialect within the narrative that grounds this book very firmly in Nigeria and much of the beauty and hardship of the country is clearly described in a flowing and atmospheric style.
Despite the stomach-churning physical abuse that almost moves you to tears for many reasons, I found this an ultimately very satisfying read."
More tomorrow about a book which did move me to tears.