Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

There are some books that you read in your life and they stay with you. There are some books that you read in your life and they change your life. For me one of those books was The Color Purple. Although I Have read it many times I have ever done a real review about it, I think now is the time. I first read this book when I was only in Junior High and perhaps that was a little early, but oh, it gave me such a view on the world. I hated that these characters and of course real people of this time had to go through these things. This is one of the books that really, truly turned me on to studying history, I wanted to learn more about the past so I could try and help and keep the past from repeating.

This book is emotional and it rips at your heart and there is a reason that it is a book that truly did change the world. It is full of fantastic colorful characters. I often find myself at a loss for words when saying how I feel about this book. I also enjoy the movie, I felt the movie really did justice to the book. However, the book itself just truly I have found it hard to say the right words. It changed me when I first read it and at times where I feel disconnected I often come back to it. I read it and I remind myself of the feeling that I had when I first read the book. Most of the time it can center me again, that is why I read it again this year in 2016.

The writing style is unique and I like the way that Alice Walker used poor grammar and short phrases among other things, to truly bring the characters to life. There are times that you feel as if they could leap off the page and you could talk directly to them. If you have not read this classic book I suggest that you do. It is life changing. However, although I read it when I was very young I would not recommend it be read before High School personally. I can look back now as an adult and see that I read a few very graphic books that I likely should not have at a young age. Luckily for me those books galvanized me into the person I am today, but it could have very easily traumatized me. Before anyone reading this thinks my parents were not supervising me enough, they watched over me carefully, but like any kid sometimes I was sneaky and naughty. Not only that but my parents tried not to stifle my reading choices because they encouraged me to read and to learn about these things. Events like what happened in The color Purple are events that happened in the world you can’t rosy color history sometimes. Much like being allowed to read Trinity by Leon Uris long before I should have (another very graphic and violent book) and yet today it is also one of my favorites and a book I feel had an impact on my life. History and event books were generally approved, romances, though well, tsk tsk none of those until I was of proper age!

I realize this review has turned into a bit of a ramble and a little off topic. I am sorry about that. The long and short of it, The Color Purple is, was and always will be to me a fantastic book. It is a book that I feel everyone should read before they die.

My Gemstone Rating:


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