Purple Hibiscus Short Summary
This is a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is a known Nigerian author. The book got published in 2003. It gives a story of Kambili Achike, a fifteen-year-old girl living in Nigeria. It is set during the post-colonial time when the country is struggling economically, and political unrest exists.
A Look Through into the Plot
Living in Enugu, The Achikes are privileged. The family consists of Kambili, Jaja, the older brother, and their parents. Eugene, the father, is defined as a significant man. Kambili’s mother is a naturally quiet woman from whom Kambili has adopted a quiet nature. She views the world from the perspective of a witness.
The family seems happy from the outside — their lavish lifestyle and the fact that they are not affected by poverty. Eugene is loved and respected outside his family, but his family members fear him. He is a businessman of Igbo descent who is in the business of publishing newspapers. He is also highly religious and an essential Catholic church pillar. He ignores his father and has been involved in domestic abuse.
Every member of the family has suffered in the name of discipline and order from Eugene, but to the outside world, he seems like a saint. He is not afraid of standing up for the people against the government, and his employees know him to be generous.
Kambili is keen about nature and the outside world. She loves exploring the land admiring the flowers, fruits, and food of the land. She describes the beauty of her even though she faces abuse from her father. She finds an out during a coup by the military where she and her brother are forced to go and live with their aunt, Ifeoma. Ifeoma is a widow who is a university professor living just above poverty. In this home, Kambili sees a different perspective of a family where there is love. She has to return to her family and tries to figure out how she can apply what she has learned.
Kambili’s receives wisdom from Amaka, her cousin, and a priest called Father Amaki. Kambili has to use all she has learned to maintain peace in her family. Her father is a godsend to the community and earns the name “Omerola” for it. Kambili and the rest of the family have to find a way to survive Eugene’s treatment and maintain their identities.