Sunday, 24 January 2016

Book Review - 'The Color Purple'.

Book Review - 'The Color Purple'

'The color Purple' is a novel by Alice Walker that was first published in 1982. It is the first ANYTHING that I have ever read by Alice Walker. The only thing I knew about 'The Color Purple' prior to reading was when I heard Oprah talking about the novel on television (she was in the film version). I remember thinking the plot sounded interesting but still hadn't ever got round to reading it until recently. 

The sum up the novel in very basic terms, it is about a woman called Celie who goes from having an abusive childhood to being in an abusive marriage that she has no choice over. She loses contact with her sister who was the only person who had shown her any kindness until she meets another woman who inspires and supports her to develop some confidence and self worth. However, like most great novels, it is about so much more than this. The novel touches on issues of race, sexuality, gender roles and so many other important and relevant issues. What is so impressive about this book is that it does it all without trying to be grandiose. The writing remains so humble, genuine and relatable throughout that it feels like a personal journey from start to finish. 

It's similar to the last book I wrote about, 'The Perks of Being A Wallflower', in that the story is told through the medium of letters written by the protagonist and has a strong narrative voice. The difference being that Alice Walker's narrative is perfectly written throughout. When I first started reading the story I thought the distinctive style of writing would take a while to get used to but it very quickly revealed itself to have a natural, seamless quality about it and the voice of Celie comes as naturally as if she was talking to you herself.

When I finished reading 'The Color Purple' I was left with the sense that it was one of the best novels I have ever read and that it had really left a lasting impression on me. In an age where opinions dressed as facts bombard us on social media it was a much more powerful experience to read an incredible novel expertly addressing the issues which are just as relevant now as they were then. I would give 'The Color Purple' a perfect score: 10/10.



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