The Color Purple by Alice Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”
I first read this book in college in 1985. I recently reread it for a book group. I loved it then, and I had the pleasure of loving it again. It’s not a pretty story. Celie is a woman beaten down by chronic abuse, first by her father and then by her husband. She has no feelings of self-worth or free will of her own. Then along comes a special woman who inspires her to feel, to love, to nurture herself, find her true self, and be strong.
The characters in this book are rich and well-developed. There are many story arcs that would even be great novels on their own. Shug, Sophia, Harpo, and Nettie are all compelling and engaging people. Universal themes of forgiveness, sexuality, friendship, race, and self-worth will suck you in and immerse you in a tale that feels so real you think you are living it right there with them. A great read for young adults who are searching for their true selves. By the way, purple is my favorite color. Highly recommended.