The classic, PULITZER PRIZE-winning novel that made Alice Walker a household name. Set in the deep American South between the wars, THE COLOR PURPLE is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves. ‘One of the most haunting books you could ever wish to read … it is stunning – moving, exciting, and wonderful’ Lenny Henry.
About the author
Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for The Color Purple. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including Meridian, By the Light of My Father’s Smile and The Third Life of Grange Copeland.
She lives and teaches in San Francisco.
I’ll start by saying, I now know why this book is a classic after reading it. The themes and story are still whirring around my head and I actually miss the main character, Celie.
It’s starts in a disturbing way. We are plunged straight into the darkness of Celie’s current situation and at a young age, she is very much a heroine already. The sacrifices she makes for her younger sister, Nettie, are heartbreaking. I instantly got a feel for how trapped Celie was. Living in a household where she’s being abused by the man she calls her father, even I could see no way out for her at this stage. The levels of misogyny made my skin crawl.
I loved the other characters too. Nettie’s letters were insightful and full of adventure, and Shug Avery’s character was something else. Each character had a journey of personal growth which made for a totally satisfying story.
The voice Alice Walker uses in Celie’s letter really gives a roundness to her character. The actual book contains a series of letters that make up the whole story which I thought was effective. Because of the letters, it had a really personal feel to it, especially the ones Celie addressed to God, and they really made me shiver given that the opening line in the book is, ‘You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy.’ It’s a story of secrets, abuse, misogyny, sexual identity and racism. Love plays a prominent part too.
I really enjoyed the ending. I won’t say whether it’s good or bad as I don’t want to spoil it but it was perfect as far as I’m concerned!
Thanks for reading!
Why not check out one of my other reviews or even one of my books? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.
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Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.