An amazing story. It's written from the perspective of a young girl who's grown up with a physically (not sexually) abusive father who beats the mother and expects more than the best from his children.
He is overtly very religious and gives a lot to charity but he is deeply troubled. He thinks the beatings he gives are deserved and never seems to regret it.
The only reason I don't give this book a 5 out of 5 is that I have read Half of a Yellow Sun by the same author and it's a much more detailed and enthralling story. That said, this one engaged me from start to finish and is well worth a read.
Ms. Adichie really knows how to weave a story. Here are some of my favourite lines:
Of her brother: "His seventeen-year-old face had grown lines; they zigzagged across his forehead, and inside each line a dark tension had crawled in."
Of her and her brother's relationship: "We did that often, asking each other questions whose answers we already knew. Perhaps it was so that we would not ask the other questions, the ones whose answers we did not want to know."
Kambili constantly craves to please her father, so when her brother says something to please her dad she notes: "Papa smiled, and I wished I had said that before Jaja had".
Then when she in turn says something to please him: "Then he reached out and held my hand, and I felt as though my mouth were full of melting sugar."
Of her Aunty Ifeoma's eyes: "They were quizzical eyes, eyes that asked many questions and did not accept many answers".
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