Book Review: The Color Purple

April 2, 2020

With this time away from school comes the opportunity to explore hobbies we may not always have time for in our usual day-to-day lives. For me, this means being able to pick up a book of my choice outside of the classroom and just read for enjoyment. As an avid historical fiction fan, I picked up a book that has been sitting on my shelf since February. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a book that deserves to stand amongst other modern classics because of its unique and optimistic nature. Taking place mostly in the rural south, it is a deeply authentic and intimate account of protagonist Celie’s struggles. Encountering many obsticles as she moves through the world as a black and gay woman during the early 20th century—discovering what that means to her and the many ways in which society has supressed her indentity. It also provides a touching account of her sister Nettie’s experiences as a missionary in Africa, grappling with a huge difference in culture and belief. 

Walker combines brutal honesty and articulate compassion to create the effect of deeply personal storytelling. By putting the reader inside Celie’s journal and letters to and from her sister, we get to know and love her in a very personal way. It follows Celie’s journey through her relationship with God and how her views on religion change thanks to the people who truly love her. It shows us that in the absence of hope where we find our greatest strength, and it explores the way in which sisterly love can span decades and cross oceans with something as simple as pen, paper, and faith.

  It is one of the most genuine novels I have read in a long time and one that everyone can relate to in their own way. The Color Purple is an extraordinary piece of literature to pick up while you have this extra down time. If you’ve been looking for a way to pass the hours indoors, I highly suggest you give Alice Walker’s beautiful novel a read. 

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