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Extended Audio Sample Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,063 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Narrator: Lisette Lecat Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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O Henry Prize–winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie here recounts the story of a young Nigerian girl searching for freedom.

Although her father is greatly respected within their community, fifteen-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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The author’s straightforward prose captures the tragic riddle of a man who has made an unquestionably positive contribution to the lives of strangers while abandoning the needs of those who are closest to him.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Her] strong, lyrical voice earns her a place on the shelf squarely next to Gabriel García Márquez, Alex Haley, and Chinua Achebe.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “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.”

    Boston Globe

  • “At once the portrait of a country and a family, of terrible choices and the tremulous pleasure of an odd, rare purple hibiscus blooming amid a conforming sea of red ones.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Adichie’s debut, begins like many novels set in regions considered exotic by the western reader: the politics, climate, social customs, and, above all, food of Nigeria…unfold like the purple hibiscus of the title, rare and fascinating. But within a few pages, these details, however vividly rendered, melt into the background of a larger, more compelling story of a joyless family.

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “By turns luminous and horrific, this debut ensnares the reader from the first page and lingers in the memory long after its tragic end…In a soft, searing voice, Adichie examines the complexities of family, faith, and country through the haunted but hopeful eyes of a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. Lush, cadenced, and often disconcerting, this is an accomplished first effort.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Beautifully written.”

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Fred Daly | 2/8/2014

    " Reread with my class. I liked it a little better this time. Though the father is a bit of a cartoon character at times, and too easy for ninth graders to hate, the novel has a lot to teach about the ways people try to accommodate two very different cultural and religious traditions in their lives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kathleen | 1/31/2014

    " Adichie is such a tremendous, straight-forward writing about a place and time that I don't know much about. This story leads one to dig into the history of Africa and realize the universality of human beings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shirley Freeman | 1/26/2014

    " I read this because the author was a keynoter at the Festival of Faith and Writing. Fifteen year old Kambili and her mother and brother live tightly circumscribed lives under the strict rules of her wealthy, powerful father. All is not as it seems however. Kambili's life starts unraveling about the same time as Nigeria falls under a military coup. This would be a wonderful young adult discussion book -- good story, coming-of-age, Nigerian history, nuanced characters, feelings of love and hate for the same person - all described with beautiful writing. Check out the author's TED talk at ted.com. Pretty cool. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alex | 1/25/2014

    " I'd give it 3.5 if I could. A quick read, an entertaining read, a good read... but not a 4 star read. What I loved about this book was the way Adichie allows the reader to find little messages woven into the book. So many authors force feed their agendas, which really sucks the joy out of reading for me! For instance, I loved the treatment of Papa-Nnukwa. His attitude toward Truth, and the way other characters react to said attitude, really illuminates something about each individual (I'd argue that the reader's ideas about Nnukwa's religion reveals something about the reader, too!) His character/message, like so many others in the book, is not understated, but rather gentle in a way that grazes the careful reader and escapes the careless. "

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