"He lowered the kettle into the tub, tilted it toward my feet. He poured the hot water on my feet, slowly, as if he were conducting an experiment and wanted to see what would happen...The pain of contact was so pure, so scalding, I felt nothing for a second. And then I screamed."
The ending of the novel is a shock. I think the ending is also masterful. The ending proves that the faults of other people have tentacles. These tentacles can kill or severely maim those within reach. I only had one problem with the novel. Kambili meets Father Amadi. She has a heavy crush on him. He seems to have the same feelings about her. I felt the relationship between Kambili and the Father went along too smoothly. It seemed to me the aunt should have been very, very upset about the Father putting aside his vows to look lustfully at her niece. No one seems upset about the situation.
"Amaka laughed when Father Amadi asked her to come. "Don't try to be nice, Father, you know you would rather be alone with your sweetheart," she said. And Father Amadi smiled and said nothing."
Still, the relationship between the two adds flavor to the novel. As did the political situations experienced by Aunt Ifeoma and her brother. I also thought Purple Hibiscus was very rich because of the two different lifestyles of the families. Aunty Ifeoma is poor. There is an outside toilet. There are many worms crawling in the bath tub because the pipes are old and loose. There isn't always gas for the car. These conditions don't shape Aunty Ifeoma thoughts about people and life. Her hospitality is open handed. She loves to give and share what she owns with the people around her. I think this is the true spirit of Africans. The willingness to share with others no matter how hard their predicament. The Igbos remind me of the Purple Hibiscus. This flower doesn't like too much water. Neither does it like to be too dry. It likes a perfect balance. These two families were in search of that balance like any other people around the world. To find that balance doesn't come without struggle and heartache.
"It was still harmattan and the earth was thirsty, but Aunty Ifeoma said the stalks might take root and grow if they were watered regularly, that hibiscuses didn't like too much water, but they didn't like to be too dry either."