Written By: Alice Walker
Published By: Open Road
Read: July 17-18, 2015
You can buy this book here.
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.
The Color Purple is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning book. It is on just about every list of books you must read in your lifetime. How do I review a book like that? How can I sit here and pretend that I am qualified enough to dissect and critique this book? The answer is easy, I can’t and I won’t. All I can do is tell you about my experience reading this book.
I decided to read this book for two reasons. I am doing the 2015 Reading Challenge and I needed to read a Pulitzer Prize winning book. The list to choose from is, obviously, limited. The Color Black stood out because I had seen in mentioned many times before. I have also been browsing lists of 100 books to read in your lifetime and this book was on every single list. As popular as this book seemed, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. I have found that sometimes the books on these lists can be boring and hard to read. This was not one of those books.
The story revolves around Celie, a poor, uneducated black woman in the 1930’s. Her story is heartbreaking. What makes it even worse is that it rings with so much truth. Her painful story is the story of so many woman of that time.
The book is written in letter format which really enhanced the reading experience. Each letter that Celie wrote showed a snapshot of her life. She originally wrote her letters to God and then after a turn of events that made her question her faith she began writing her letters to her sister Nettie. (A small portion of the letters are written from Nettie to Celie.) Since each letter told it’s own story I felt like not a single page was wasted. There was no filler and each word held meaning.
The Color Purple is so full of emotion. It tears your heart out and there isn’t a damn thing that you can do about it. It is so real and authentic and raw. This book easily makes the list of my favorite books of all time. I can not recommend that you read this book enough.
2015 Reading Challenge- A Pulitzer Prize Winning Book
Recommended for Fans of: Historical Fiction and Classics
Suggested to Read Next: The Invention of Wings