I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally had a copy of Purple Hibiscus. Why? The testimonies and reviews I read on it got me really expectant and truth be told, those expectations were met, 100%. The themes in the story were not one I hadn’t read about but Chimamanda chose a unique way of exploring each of them. Chimamanda’s narrative style and writer’s voice is so unique and she always has a way of making one yearn for more. Here’s why:
Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus is a story told through the lens and thoughts of a fifteen-year-old girl. Issues relating to colonization, politics, and a whole lot of things that are associated with the two are mirrored—the things we overlook or do not pay attention to.
The fact that we have sadists who are mistaken for disciplinarians is brought to light. It may sound barbaric and fictitious, nevertheless, it is the reality on the ground. People do so with several justifications which include religion. Religion that found its root in salvation is made to trap the childhood spirit of two youngsters in the story—irony of it. Thus, some ugly sides of religion that escape many minds are highlighted. How religion robs people of their humanity and replaces it with spiritualism is not lost in Purple Hibiscus.
The use of flashbacks and backstories to take us through the past, present, and even future!
This required her change of tense when she had to switch to the present and that disrupted the flow of the story but she did it so well that one could adjust and as well get the feel of the “present”.
Chimamanda made good use of setting, suspense, characters, emotions which she seemed to have mastery over to tell a vivid and detailed story with descriptions that could make one feel like a character since she made them so real.
Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus is one of the few must-read stories that stop you in your tracks, hold you down till you finish it before it lets you go. She captured real-life events in her story and leaves an everlasting impression on readers. It’s a masterpiece.