27 June 2014

Purple Hibiscus

Title: Purple Hibiscus

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Stars: 4/5

If souls could talk that's how they would. Kambili, a mute soul, floats away, watching lives and events unfolding in front of her eyes. So many thoughts in her head, love, fear, care, tears, but no voice to express. She is intriguing yet endearing. The love between her and Father Adika reminds you of Thornbirds although not really. The book had many characters deep and well sketched. From Jaja to Ifeoma, to Amika, to Oberio, to Beatrice, to Papa, Nikuwe, to Father Adika and even Chima.

But the character that got my maximum attention was - Papa Eugene. He had a convoluted sense of duty and obedience, punishing his children and wife brutally in the name of Lord for disobedience to himself. Supposedly he is not a bad guy but with some anger issues. He has struggled his way up from his humble traditionalist background reformed by Catholic education and priests. He is from the old school of thought, a religiously trained man, a man of God, who prays all the time, visits church come rain or shine and helps the poor and needy. Although this is selective as he thinks low of other religions helping only those who share his own faith. And if he gives hellish treatment to people, that is how God would do too. They need to experience hell on earth before winning that ultimate heaven on death. He is a traditionalist and feels it's his duty to reform people especially his own family by any means.

Under his dark shadow the family steals some moment of happiness with visits to their aunt Ifeoma and her family. There they understand the political, cultural and education crisis in the country, the poverty and corruption, forcing everyone to flee to the golden land of America.

The retribution in the end does come, but there is no running from the past. You try to smile but the cracks on your lips hurt every time and nothing can make them go away.

Must Buy Purple Hibiscus


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