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Purple Hibiscus cover art

Purple Hibiscus

By: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
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Summary

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

Critic reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Purple Hibiscus

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

wrong choice of narrator

I do not think the narrator was right for the character.she should have had a Nigerian accent to make it more authentic.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Truly Rivetting and a memorable read

I love this book by the talented Chimimanda Ngozi Adichi, and I will surely reread it. Touches on sensitive topics whilst also maintaining integrity.

I would highly recommend if you're also an avid reader of Malorie Blackman books.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • KJ
  • 24-02-24

Gripping story spoiled by white South African reader.

What a shame to have such brilliant gripping story telling spoiled by a reader who places the story in South Africa by accent rather than Nigeria. Stumbling over names of places and branding out the emotion. Time for a re-record with a west African at the least reader.

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1 person found this helpful

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beautifully written and heartbreaking

such a moving book, beautifully written and full of powerful themes. I couldn't put it down.

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Quite captivating

A very can’t stop reading now book on family life back then. Gave me an insight into Nigerian village life. I liked it very much.

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Great story

If you could sum up Purple Hibiscus in three words, what would they be?

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.

Any additional comments?

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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So much saliva!

I agree with other listeners who have pointed out that this book should be avoided if you have any kind of sensitivity to mouth noises. Every sentence is followed by a wet swallow. It’s been more than ten years - I think Adichie’s work deserves a reboot with a fresher performer.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Story spoiled by dreadful narration

The slow pace and depressing tone of narrator seriously spoiled my enjoyment of this audiobook

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this book.

I really enjoyed this book, it holds your attention and makes you care about the characters. I started listening to an abridged version, but you need the full version to understand the depth of the story.

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