Saturday, 4 May 2019

Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple has an abundance of strong, inspiring and unforgettable female characters. Each woman has their own unique story, but they are all linked by the different forms of abuse, prejudice or oppression that they have suffered.

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."
Our protagonist Celie writes letters to God and her sister Nellie, telling her story as well as the stories of those around her. The overarching theme of sisterhood is such a joy to revel in as we get to witness the journey towards self-realisation that the enigmatic Shug Avery brings Celie on.

It’s a brutal read, but a story that needs to be told. Rape and child abuse is never easy to read about, but Walker makes you confront these realities head on. I was quite surprised by the direction the story took in terms of the growth and changes that some characters took, but it was an inspiring reminder that the human spirit is not static and it cannot always be caged.

One of my favourite sections of the book was when Shug Avery talks to Celie about her views on God and how she does not view him as the stereotypical single entity of a white man with a long beard, but he surrounds us all! He’s in all the things that make people happy, and I just found this entire section to be really uplifting and it is probably what will remain me the longest after finishing this book.

Unfortunately I don’t feel like I connected to this one as deeply as I had hoped to - I very much enjoyed the themes and the story, but I guess that emotional connection to the characters just wasn’t there for me. I think it was mostly due to the fact that reading this was a struggle at times as I really had to focus and concentrate to make sure I was taking it in and interpreting it correctly! It took me quite a while to get through what is a relatively short book, and these are really the only reasons why it doesn’t get a full 5 stars - as otherwise, the plot and message cannot be faulted! 4 stars.


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