Friday, March 18, 2016

Purple Hibiscus

Purple hibiscus in this book signifies new beginnings and happiness. The book tells a story of 2 siblings a brother (Eugene), his sister (Ifeoma) and their families.

Ifeoma has 3 children Obiora, Chima and Amaka. She is a lecturer at a university, her husband has passed on and she is raising her kids on her own. She is this good parent that allows them freedom to express themselves (within reasonable boundaries), laugh, argue and ask questions. But when they make mistakes she disciplines them in the best way by always ensuring that they understood why they were being punished.

……………………………I always preffered the stick to her slaps, though, because her hand is made of metal, ezi oktoum, Amaka laughed.” Afterwards we will talk about it for hours. I hated that. Just give the lashes and let me out. But no, she explained why you had been flogged and what she expected you to do not to get flogged again.

Ifeoma allows her children as much as they are catholics to learn about their traditions by taking them to see their grandfather often and him teaching them about their traditions through stories and the old man loved her for this and that she took good care of him.

I joke with you, nwam, where would I be today if my Chi had not given me a daughter? Papa Nnukwu paused.’’ My spirit will intercede for you, so that Chuktvu will send a good man to take care of you and the children.

Her son Obiora is a 14 year old so ahead of his age and takes on the role of the man of the house really well and casually drops big words like microcosm in normal conversation.

Ifeoma (his mum after giving tablets to the grandfather) : ………………’’He says tablets are bitter, but you should taste the Kola nuts he chews happily-they taste like bile”

Obiora (Laughs): Morality as well as sense of taste is relative.

Which 14 year old talks like this??

She loses her job at the university because of not being loyal to the government and decides to move to America with her kids to teach there and give them a shot a better opportunities in education.

Eugene has two children Jaja and Kambili and their mother. He is extremely wealthy and has companies, big houses, big cars, house servants, drivers and all that comes with wealth but man is crazy and wants to portray this image of perfection of his family to the outside world and especially his church. He is a dictator in his house for example no one can talk back to him, they always have to praise him, during meals nobody can leave the table before he does.  He expects his children to be always the top in their classes and they do not have a choice of subjects to take in school as they will only do what he wants. He has ingrained this sense of fear in his children that they do not know how to be happy, laugh and just be normal persons.

…………….I remained a backyard snob to most of the girls in my class. But I did not worry too much about that because I carried a bigger load-the worry of making sure I came first this term. School closed in early December for Christmas break. I peered into my report card while Kevin was driving me home and saw 1/25, written in a hand so slanted I had to study it to make sure it wasn’t 7/25.

For small mistakes they committed he punished them heavily and in most cases they had to be taken to a hospital. He battered his wife so badly and so often that she lost two pregnancies which results in her poisoning him. The community views him as an excellent man because he gives generous donations and acts like this holy Christian who even disowns his father who refused to convert to Christianity and refuses his children to visit the old man.

"Nekenem, Look at me. My son owns that house that can fit every man in Abba, and yet sometimes I have nothing to put on my plate. I should not have let him join the missionaries.

His sister manages to convince him to allow the kids to visit her and spend time with their cousins and they love living with the cousins despite their aunty not having much and they learn happiness and how to be with other people and Kambili even falls in love as is evidenced by these lines from the book J

‘His eyes rested on my face and it was too disturbing, locking eyes with him, It made me forget who was nearby, where I was sitting, what colour my skirt was……………………….’

‘I stared at the dashboard, at the blue-and-gold Legion oil Mary sticker on it. Didn’t he know that I did not want him to leave ever? That I did not need to be persuaded to go to the stadium, or anywhere with him? The afternoon played across my mind as I got out of the car in front of the flat. I smiled, ran and laughed. My chest was filled with something like bath foam. Light. The lightness was so sweet I tasted it on my tongue, the sweetness of an overripe bright yellow cashew fruit.

If you haven’t read it and are looking for something fun, easy and is a page turner then you should definitely read it J

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