Review: The Color Purple

The Color Purple
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book #18 for 2017
Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge Prompts:
– A book that has been banned or frequently challenged in the USA
– A classic by an author of color
– A book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey
– A book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color
Book Bingo Possible Squares:
– A Book-to-Screen Adaptation
– A Book with an Award
– A Book with Multiple Perspectives
– A Banned Book
– A Book with an LGBTQA Character
– A Book with a Female Heroine
– A Book by an Author of Color
– A Book of Letters
Personal Reading Challenge Task: An award-winning book
The Legendary Book Club of Habitica’s Ultimate Reading Challenge: A book of letters or about letters
Better World Books Challenge Prompts:
– A book with a color in the title
– A National Book Award winner
– A banned book
– A book by a person of color
– A book by a female writer
– A book that’s been adapted into a movie
PopSugar Ultimate Reading Challenge Tasks (maximum 3):
– A book of letters
– A book by a person of color
– A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read (family saga)

This isn’t the sort of thing I normally get much out of, and I guess I’ve been reading a lot of unreliable narrators lately, because I kept expecting some weird twist ending, like Nettie was a ghost the entire time or something. (Spoiler: She’s not.) So yeah, the missing 5th star in the rating is totally on me; the book is fine, I recommend it, and I think it’s a damn shame that it gets pulled from high school curricula a lot. And I will just say that I was underwhelmed and occasionally offended by Spielberg’s film adaptation.

I’m not sure what to say about this book that hasn’t already been said a million times. It’s a moving story of African-American women (centered on Celie in particular) in the first half of the 20th century. It’s brutal and depressing, yet uplifting at times and often told with gentle humor. I really liked that part of the story followed Nettie to Africa and provided a unique perspective on the three-way clash of tribal culture, colonialism, and mission work. And throughout the book, Walker shows the broad spectrum of frenemyship and sisterhood that I think any woman can relate to.

View all my reviews


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