The Color Purple is a novel written by Alice Walker in 1982 and it won the Pulitzer Price for Fiction as well as the National Award for Fiction in 1983. It’s not the reason I read it, though. I’m just interested in books taking place in this kind of context since I read The Help and To Kill a Mockinbird. Yes I know they are very different books, but as a French student, I know I am lacking knowledge about the US and segregation and African-American culture, so that’s one of the reasons I read it. (Another reason simply being the fact that this book had been recommended and given to me by I can’t remember who, but I had it on my shelves and therefore wanted to read it).
I don’t really know how to present it. I mean, I loved it. This book was something different, it was fascinating. It was also an easy read, and hard to put down. But how should I describe it? I just can’t. It’s full of hard truths and funny passages, it’s cleverly written, it’s full of hope and despair at the same time. It is beautiful.
The Color Purple is an epistolary novel which retraces the story of two sisters, Celie and Nettie in rural America in the 1930s. It evolves around the condition of women of color at the time, but also much more. And it is brilliant.
Celie was raped by the man who raised her and gave her two children before giving them away and practically selling the girl to a brutal man who seemed to have fallen in love with her sister Nettie. Nettie ran away from home after Celie left, and the two girls lost contact while Nettie became a missionary in Africa, and Celie fell in love with her husband’s mistress.
Celie writes letters to God, not knowing what happened to her sister. Nettie writes letters to her sister, whithout hope for a reply since her husband stops every single letter.
What can I add? It’s beautiful and brilliant. Cleverly written. It manages to be funny and horrible at the same time. It’s a bit of a schock too. But this book is so important and necessary.
My rating: ★★★★☆