review: Purple Hibiscus

by Adichie Chimamanda Ngaozi

This is a coming of age story set in Nigeria. With the effects of political and religious colonialism shaping much of the story, we only see the main character managing to develop and come of age, not the country itself.

The well written story describes issues of parental abuse to which too many students will relate. Like the leaders of the country, the leader of Kampbili’s family, her father, manages to abuse his might and feel justified in the name of a foreign religion. The parallels are many, but they are subtly developed leaving a story which students can enjoy on their own and learn about life in another country or which teachers can easy use to helps students understand life in modern Nigeria.

themes: education; abuse; Nigeria/West Africa/Igbo; religion (traditional vs. catholicism); coming of age

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