The Color Purple by Alice Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A challenging and linguistically innovative novel, Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" is an effortlessly intellectual think piece wrapped in a gloomy historical drama.
With a Steinbeck-like urgent optimism, Walker shows off a boundless sense of rhythms and flows of poverty-ridden country life. Her protagonist, Celie, maintains an earnest sense of self-affirmation as she tells her tumultuous life story via letters to God.
Celie's backwoods vernacular becomes a poetry in the way it weaves and stumbles its way through deep philosophical thoughts. The writing dares you to overcome your own ingrained social prejudices to truly hear the message at play.
Walker's vigorous messages cry out for justice for women, people of color and homosexuals, who are forced to bear burdens thrust upon them by the powers that be. Her message of love and understanding sings out proudly.
Walker's choice to narrate the Audible adaptation was crucial. No matter how studied the voice performer, there's no one who could even pray to come close to matching Walker's command of the spirit and commitment to the downtrodden characters she carves out.
"The Color Purple" is a cleverly written and consistently emotionally overwhelming fable. Walker's shrewd, sense-of-place sorcery makes you feel and think what its characters do. As if you were reading your own stack of letters rather than those of Celie.
Publisher provided review copy.
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