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Customer Review

244 of 253 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful, uplifting book, May 2, 2000
This review is from: The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon (Hardcover)
"The Color Purple" is one of the strongest statements of how love transforms and cruelty disfigures the human spirit that this reviewer has ever read. Alice Walker gives us Celie, 14 years old when the book opens, who has been raped, abused, degraded and twice impregnated by her father. After he takes her children away from her without a so much as a word, he marries her off like a piece of chattel to her husband, who is so cold, distant and inhuman to her that she can only refer to him as Mr; and this person deprives her of her sister Nettie, the only one who ever loved her.

Celie manages to survive by living one day at a time. Her life is a series of flat, lifeless panoramas painted in browns and grays. Into this existence, if you can call it that, comes Shug Avery, her husband's mistress, who shows Celie her own specialness and uniqueness. A lot has been made about lesbianism in this book and all of it is beside the point. Celie isn't a lesbian, she is a human being in need of love and Shug Avery helps Celie realize that she is somebody worth loving and caring about. When Celie hurls her defiance into Mr's face -- "I'm poor, I'm black, I may be ugly... but I'm here", she is making an affirmation not only to him, but to the whole world; the reader can only say, along with Shug Avery, "Amen".

When Celie finds the strength to leave Mr, he is left to face the reality of himself and what he sees isn't pretty; his transformation humanizes him and allows Celie to call him Albert, recognizing him as a person, as he finally recognizes her as one. The last chapter makes many readers go through half a box of Kleenex (Stephen Spielberg once said in an interview that he "cried and cried at the end" of the book), but Walker doesn't play cheap with the reader's emotions; she has a powerful story to tell and she tells it with such consummate skill and sensitivity that she brings us into it and makes it ours. This is a book to be treasured and read over and over again.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 8, 2008 5:40:01 AM PST
This review really helped!!!!! thanks

Posted on Nov 17, 2010 6:02:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2010 6:03:40 PM PST
Crossroads at the Wilderness

I liked the review of JLind555. I will defenitely read the book.
Thanks for your great review.

Posted on Jun 19, 2012 12:11:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2012 12:13:46 PM PDT
sb says:
from Haaretz:

Alice Walker, author of "The Color Purple," refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, citing what she called Israel's "apartheid state."

In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow the publication of the book into Hebrew because "Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories."

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement "will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation."

I salute you, Ms. Walker, for your principle and courage.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2013 5:54:34 AM PST
Rebecca says:
This is all very interesting but it has nothing to do with the discussion about the book itself, and adds nothing to that discussion. Neither do I feel it's appropriate to go off topic as an excuse to push your personal political viewpoint.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2014 6:43:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2014 6:48:12 AM PDT
sb/Haaretz: I don't agree with Rebecca's sentiments, I like to know what drives authors, I think your comment is interesting AND germaine, thank-you.

And I suppose it's useless asking for the zillionth time why JLind555 doesn't feel the need to post a spoiler alert. This tendency is one reason I've largely stopped reading reviews, utterly spoils a book or movie for me to be told the plotpoints, sigh. A simple spoiler alert is a kindness.
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