Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker


This highly challenged novel focuses on black women in the southern area of the US during the 1930s. In letters to God and her sister, Nettie, Celie writes of her under-appreciated life with low-living standards. From her father to her husband, she’s beaten and treated terribly, until Shug Avery comes along. The only people who’ve loved her fully are Shug and Nettie, and Celie goes on a journey to find her voice that’s been lost because of her race and gender.

No, I’ve never seen the movie. Yes, I do plan to watch it, and have it taped on the DVR right now. I’ve heard it’s very true to the book, and I hope that’s the case, because the book is gorgeous.

The style is in vernacular to showcase her lifestyle. I don’t think it could have been portrayed better. With this writing style, the reader becomes closer to Celie and the rest of the characters and is able to understand their way of life more fully. Sometimes it gets hard to understand, but after a while, I got used to it.

The themes in the novel are heartbreaking. From gender to racial oppression to strong relationships between women, the whole novel had my head spinning. Celie’s voice is so strong, and the reader feels every blow– metaphorical and physical– just as she feels it. It’s a book that causes you to take a step back and ask if things were really like that. Celie is living in horrible conditions, she’s completely unhappy, and the reader cheers for anything that could reprieve her from this misery.

And that’s where Shug comes in, and the banned content of the book. It’s been challenged and banned and challenged some more. It’s been pushed into the dusty corners of the libraries, barred from schools, and shut out of students’ lives. I suggested this book for book club, and I understand why the sponsors shot me down. But I definitely don’t think it should be banned. It has basically any reason to be banned wrapped into one book: homosexuality, rape, profanity, violence, incest, drug use, sex. Even so, this content is needed for the book’s strength and meaning. It adds to the story, not destroys it. It makes it more real and horrifying and believable.

I would definitely put this one up there on my list of classics. It’s emotional and beautiful. It’s completely unique. I loved every second I was reading it, and I recommend it to everyone. I feel like this review is pretty short, but there isn’t a whole lot to say other than read it!

5 Stars




3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Characters who are Fellow Book Nerds | Stealing Pages

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  3. Pingback: Top Ten Books I’d Love to Read with My Book Club | Stealing Pages

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