While reading an excellent book, I always wish I didn’t read it just to be able to do it again. I am not crazy, I just wish I could rediscover the same feelings, feel the same first time sensation... This is exactly what recently happened while I was reading Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Miles away from my continent, I was very pleased to discover similarities between different countries of Africa. With a big smile on my face, I was remembering some scenes at the village, the church, in family… Nigeria was suddenly not so much different from Ivory Coast.
Purple Hibiscus is a story told by Kambili a fifteen-year old teenager oppressed by her fanatically religious father. In Kambili’s home, there is no place for laughs. Although her father is a well-respected and generous man in his community, he is also violent and absurdly severe with his own family. As Chimamanda said about him, “there are lot of people who are kind and generous and thoughtful, but in the name of religion, do all sorts of awful things.”
Purple Hibiscus evokes religion, love, family but also the politics in Africa. My favorite characters are Amaka and her younger brother Obiora. On one side, there is a girl so tied to her African culture that she refused to get confirmed because she was supposed to choose an English name. On the other side, there is a boy who seems more mature than his age and who dreams about United States because of the bad political climate in his country.
I particularly loved the typically African names, the common African expressions and the traditions you can guess it…typically African. I just wanted to go back in my village and learn more about my story from the elders.
I hardly tried not to give you an extended summary of the novel nor did I wanted to show you how much I actually loved it. I believe that when a book received too much appreciation, the reader tries to discover it as he has been told about instead of having his own feelings.
Therefore please guys, discover Purple Hibiscus by yourself, or through Kambili’s eyes.
|Picture: The Guardian|
NB: For Beyonce’s fans, Chimamanda is the voice you hear in the song flawless. I hope this will triggers your desire to read her book.