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Extended Audio Sample Purple Hibiscus Audiobook, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.96 out of 53.96 out of 53.96 out of 53.96 out of 53.96 out of 5 3.96 (25 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: August 2015 ISBN: 9781456122416
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roz Dibley | 1/15/2014

    " Excellent book from an author who I love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 1/14/2014

    " Another book where I'd like 3 1/2 stars - I really liked it, but didn't love it. It's kind of a coming of age story in Nigeria, not a place I've read too much about. Enjoyed! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edward | 1/2/2014

    " Not great. could have been even shorter. Feels like it's repeating itself midway through. It was a nice break from all the high fantasy door stoppers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 12/28/2013

    " This coming-of-age book swept me up from the very first paragraph. I loved the complicated portrait of the narrator's father. Wonderful book, with a real sense of place, "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toast | 12/21/2013

    " A brilliant new author is on the block. A complete well written story that works on many levels. Keep on eye on her work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ronald | 12/5/2013

    " The story was somewhat dark and somber set in Nigeria it explores the sexual awakening of a 15 yr old child within an oppressive Catholic home environment. It also touches upon the uglier aspects of the Nigerian State. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 11/29/2013

    " Beautifully written, touching story. I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ms Troyer | 11/11/2013

    " Not as good as The Thing Around Your Neck, but an engaging read packed with so much fascinating information about Nigeria. Can't wait to read her other book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Farzana | 10/18/2013

    " Made me feel kind of depressed and deflated...but it was realistic, well-written and totally "un-put-downable"! I read this in two nights! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vuyelwa Mantyi | 10/8/2013

    " This girl is on fire! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine Woodman | 5/5/2013

    " This is the front and center tale of physical and emotional abuse of children, and the way they find out that not every family operates this way, set in Africa, where soem values are very much universal and others are not. Excellent, and hopeful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mik | 4/23/2013

    " This is one of the most beautiful and amazing books I have read in some time. It has been a while since I wanted to reach through pages and wrap a character in my arms. But I'm so glad I didn't and she figured out how to wrap herself in her own arms. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryrose | 9/22/2012

    " Grim tale of an oppressive father; but thankfully other characters lighten the story. I didn't think this was as deep as half of a yellow sun but enjoyable nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookreaderljh | 12/24/2011

    " a manual on dysfunctional families but also Nigerian life in modern times - the ending was a surprise but the journey to that point was interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren Columbus | 10/29/2011

    " adichie is unbelievably talented and will become as famous as achebe someday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney | 9/19/2011

    " This was one of the best books I've ever read. It has been over a month since I finished this book and I still think about it often as I parent my child and interact with refugees from all over the world. This is a MUST READ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Aguiar | 8/25/2011

    " A sensitive and caring new writer with a book that brings you along the story with the story but leaves enough for you to imagine that something better could come from it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 6/3/2011

    " A cousin of mine listed this as one of her two favorite fiction books of all time. As i liked her other favorite (the red tent) I was excited about this one. It is pretty depressing. I did enjoy reading more about africa but the depressing aspects made me want to get through it quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annica | 6/2/2011

    " Another great story by Chimamanda. Interesting insight in a different culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amelia | 5/4/2011

    " Truly an excellent read. Well written, but in a basic, undemanding prose. The story was compelling and taught me a great deal, too. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 4/7/2011

    " Loved the images of plants and smells and foods and life in Africa. Loved the main character.An interesting coming of age book and a great strong female character.

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About the Author
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of several novels. A 2003 O. Henry Prize winner, she was shortlisted for the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards and has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and the Iowa Review. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and longlisted for the Booker Award. She grew up in Nigeria, where she attended medical school for two years at the University of Nigeria before coming to the United States.

About the Narrator

Lisette Lecat began her career in her native South Africa, where she performed with the country’s national theaters and several commercial companies and did extensive radio and voice-over work both commercially and for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. When she moved to Spain, she continued her voice-over work in three languages, dubbing films for Vox de España. Later, in England and the United States, she resumed her theater career while continuing to do a wide range of voice-over work. She is also an accomplished playwright, with a Broadway credit for The Scent of Roses starring Julie Harris. For her narrations, she won the Scourby Award in 1999, more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards, and the prestigious Audie Award in 2005 for Best Solo Narration–Female.