Book Review – The Color Purple

Alice Walker – 5/5 Stars

Read this if you:
· love cheering on women who find success and happiness against all odds
· want to learn about the experience of an African American woman growing up in the South during the early 1900s
· are a sucker for a story featuring sisterly love (like I am!)

Sisters Celie and Nettie are born in rural Georgia in the early 20th century. Although they are separated at a young age, they remain loyal to each other, even when they spend decades without any communication. This story is told through a series of letters over the course of 20 years, from Celie to God then from the sisters to each other. Through these letters, they document abuse and adventure, as well as their struggles and bravery.

My thoughts on the book:
I went into this book knowing nothing about it. I knew it was a movie in the 80s, but was completely blind to the plot or even the main idea of the story. The story of Celie was absolutely heartbreaking. From her early years taking abuse to protect her younger siblings to feeling unlovable decades later, it is impossible to read her story and not grieve for her. It was definitely difficult to read about the abuse but I feel as though it was central to the story to understand what Celie experienced from a young age. On the flip side, reading about Celie’s growth over the decades was so inspiring, and I loved the focus on the strength of her relationship with her sister. I also really enjoyed the format that this book was written in and found that the drastic difference in the letters written by Celie compared to the letters written by her sister Nettie really highlighted how much more difficult life was for Celie, even though they had a similar upbringing. Although it was difficult to read about the difficulties that both women faced, the family reunion at the end of this book left me in tears, and was the best version of a happy ending.

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