Thoughts on the Novel “Purple Hibiscus”

As I suspected would happen, after reading Rob Bell’s latest book, my reading lull has ended. Phew! What a relief. There’s nothing like curling up in bed on a rainy day and refusing to talk to anyone,  for the sole purpose of  reading a book for six hours, to make you stop and say, “huh. I really feel like myself again.” Which is exactly what happened on my Monday off from work. And when I say exactly, I mean: exactly. I laid in bed, shifting from my belly to back, back to side, side to belly and repeated all over again, reading page after age, completely uninterrupted. It was the selfish kind of day I know is only possible because I am childless. It’s the kind day I will remember ten years down the road and be extra thankful I consciously appreciated then. I wholly understand these are the types of days, I must indulge in now! So I do, without guilt. My time of responsibilty will eventually come. But until then, you can find me reading away my rainy days off.

But anyway…

The Book: Purple Hibiscus

The Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This novel is brilliant. Brilliantly written, brilliantly transporting and brilliantly imaginative. Three very important facets for any novel, in my opinion. It’s been awhile since I have read a novel that has caused me to react so strongly to a main character. The entire time I was reading this novel, I just felt like I was “in it”, you know? I was sucked in to the character’s pain and misunderstanding. I was sucked into her emotions and misconceptions about life. I wanted to shake her and yell at her. I wanted to hold her and let her cry. I wanted to have a conversation with her. And that’s a pretty awesome thing to want from a novel.

Based in Nigeria, this novel tackled lots of history, as well as issues we still see repeated in countries all over the world. And so, while not specifically dealing with current issues, it has encouraged me to look outside of my bubble in West Michigan, where perhaps everything is not so cut and dry.

The tones and emotions threaded throughout the novel left me wanting to stay tucked in bed. I didn’t want to finish the book, because I knew once I closed it, I wouldn’t be able to sustain this fictional world on my own. I needed Adichie’s words to provide me with the experience. I needed her to bring me out of the conflict of the novel and leave me feeling closure. I couldn’t close this novel until I found peace. And after hours and hours, Adichie was able to deliver that.

So what is on your reading list this summer? Because if this book isn’t, it DEFINITELY should be! Go to your public library. Ask the librarian where to find it on the shelf. Check it out and bring it home. Then let me know what you think!

Happy Hump Day. We’re almost through the week, my friends.

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