Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Audio and Movie Review)
Janie Crawford is a beautiful free-spirited Southern Black girl in the 1930’s. With her parents long dead, Janie is raised be her grandmother. At sixteen she is seen kissing the neighbor boy, Johnny Taylor. Her grandmother, in fear that Janie will wind up being treated like a mule for some man, she arranges for her to be married to Logan Killicks, a man in his 60’s who is looking for a wife to help him take care of his farm.
Janie wants more from life so when opportunity comes literally knocking at her door she runs away with a man she just met and becomes Mrs. Joe Starks. She soon finds out that to Joe she is a trophy wife and therefore must act as such. Soon Janie feels trapped again.
And so the story goes on – when something happens to Joe, Janie again finds herself a free woman, but not with finances to back her up. When a drifter who goes by the name of Tea Cake comes to town Janie finds herself attracted to this mysterious man. The two eventually become man and wife and their life together really is what makes this book.
Here is yet another read I would probably not have picked up. When I found it on the sale list at audible.com I thought this may be a good time to try this one and I am so glad I did. If you have not experienced this book on audio then you are truly missing out. The rich southern voice of narrator Ruby Dee was a treat to listen too. Ruby mastered the voices from deep male, to the young voice of Janie.
The book impressed me. It is a deep love story that I wasn’t anticipating, and maybe that made me appreciate it all the more. Janie and Tea Cake make some of the modern-day literary couples look dull in comparison. And all that is from the book…
just wait until you add the movie.
I had timed my finishing of the book with the arrival of the movie from Netflix. I wasn’t sure what I thought I would find in this movie…but it wasn’t this. Halli Berry is the perfect person to play Janie. She is a beautiful woman, just as Janie was described and she was the image of the free-spirited girl that I had read about.
If I thought the love story was touching in the book… on the screen, seeing the great love between Tea Cake and Janie was heart wrenching – and this from a person who does not read romance! I was so touched by the their story again… even as fresh as it was in my mind from just hours before ending the book…
I highly recommend both. Definitely do not miss out on this great novel and movie.
My 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include Their Eyes Were Watching God
I purchased the audio from audible.com
The movie was rented from Netflix