The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Celie is 14 years old and considers herself to be a good girl. She hasn’t caused any trouble in her young years and has listened to her mama. She helps take care of her siblings, helps with the cooking and the cleaning. But things are about to change for Celie and not for the better.
What happens to Celie over the next 20 years of her life is indeed, The Color Purple.
I have several confessions. One: I have never read this book before. Two: I have never seen the movie. Three: I truly had no idea what this book was about. Sometimes, I think I live under a rock.
Saying that, if you have experienced this book or the movie, you can imagine then my shock and disbelief by the time I read page one.
Yes, page one.
And the pages that follow do not get any better than that. As I type this review words fly through my mind, shocking, heartbreaking, electrically charged, high emotions…
And yet once I picked up the rhythm of the language and the story line, there was no way I was putting it down. Celie’s story may be shocking – yes, but it also rang real for me, of a time and a way I know nothing about except from my small presence on the outskirts of Celie’s porch (where in my mind I planted myself within these pages as an observer).
When a woman marry she spose to keep a decent house and a clean family. Why, wasn’t nothing to come here in the winter time and all these children have colds, they have flue, they have direar, they have newmonya, they have worms, they have the chill and fever. They hungry. They hair ain’t comb. They too nasty to touch.
Page 19, The Color Purple
Much of the book is Celie’s prayers to God. In fact the first words of the book are “Dear God”. Later in the book there are letters from Celie’s younger sister Nellie who now as an adult and a Missionary in Africa writes Celie of her life and how she is trying to get back home to her sister.
I appreciated this book that pulled me out of my comfort zone and into a time and a place that is so foreign to me and yet so real. Real people with real happenings. I am trying to be so careful with this review as I am sure there have to be others out there that have not yet experienced this read. And let me tell you – this book needs to be fully experienced. If you have never had the opportunity to read The Color Purple I highly recommend this book.
Heather had posted discussion questions for this read and I am going to put them on a Spoiler Page – enter only if you have read the book.
Bookjourney has updated the 2010 reading map to include The Color Purple
Cover story: Perfect. I have what I think is a newer cover on my copy but it shows as much as I think you could possibly hope to know going into this read with no prior knowledge of where this book will take you.
I read this book as part of a read a thon I found on Heather’s Blog 30+ A Lifetime of Books - thank you to Heather and to Nicole at Linus’s Blanket for finally giving me the kick I needed to read this book. :D
I purchased my copy of this book from Barnes and Noble in Duluth, MN