Friday, October 4, 2013

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I can't remember how long ago I read The Color Purple  by Alice Walker, but it was a really long time ago.  I remember enjoying the book, but I probably would have never read it again if it weren't this month's book club pick.  When I first opened the book, I read a few paragraphs and put it down again.  I really didn't want to read it because this book begins so very painfully.  It starts with Celie talking to God about being raped by her father and about losing her children and about her mother's sickness and anger.  It's awful and I just didn't want to let that in so I left it on the counter for a day or two.  But you know how I am about book club- I have to read the book.  And so I pushed through and I'm glad I did.
This book is full of darkness and sadness and of things that would make me want to give up on life, but it's also full of lightness and kindness and people who overcome the evil in their lives.  Since the book has been in publication for over thirty years, I won't worry that you haven't read it.  I love the development of the characters throughout the story arc.  Mr._____ is a horrible monster at the beginning of the book and by the end he becomes Celie's dear friend.  To me that seems so unlikely, but Ms. Walker writes it in a way that is believable.  People are complicated complex creatures and I feel like Ms. Walker lets us see that.
I have talked to people who have loved this book for decades.  I even have a dear friend who met the author and was able to get an autographed copy of this American classic.  How do you feel about it?  Is it one of your favorites?  Is it too dark for you?  When is the last time you read it?

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