Rating: 4.5 / 5
THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker was the February pick for the #classicsbuddyread that I help to host on Bookstagram. This is one that I read many years ago, but remembered very little about so I was happy for the chance to do the reread.
THE COLOR PURPLE depicts the lives of Black women in early 1900s Georgia. For the majority of the book we are hearing directly from Celie in the form of her letters written first to God and later to her sister Nettie from whom he has been separated. Though she doesn’t always believe these words are getting to their intended target, they give her a voice that she doesn’t have in real life.
This book tackles some very difficult issues including rape, incest, abuse and racism. Women are treated largely as property, sold off by their father into marriage with little to no agency left to them. It is clear in Celie’s early letters that this type of treatment is just accepted as the way things are. As the book progresses you see a growing awareness that a woman can and should expect more out of life. Celie has a wonderful character arc to follow between the beginning and end of the book.
This isn’t an easy read as it really jumps right in with the mistreatment of Celie, but Celie’s strength makes the book approachable even still! This really is a great pick for a book club and we had a great discussion with the buddy read. It is a modern classic well worth picking up!