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on April 20, 2017
“I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way." -Shug Avery from The Color Purple. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an inspirational tale about a young woman named Celie overcoming the hand that life had dealt her: a sexually abusive father, a forced marriage with a husband she doesn't love, and her sister heading off to be a missionary in Africa. Along her path of adversity, she meets a strong independent woman named Shug Avery. Shug shows Celie that life can be beautiful so long as you're able to love yourself for who you are, and be free to live your life. Shug frees Celie through teaching her important lessons about God, and love, and gratitude.

I rate the book 4.5 stars out of five. The book was amazingly written, and it gives a phenomenal perspective of how women face difficulties in life, and yet, are able to overcome them. However, I knocked half a star off due to the writing style of most of the book. It's written in pidgin English to emphasize how Celie communicates, but it makes it a bit harder to read, and a bit easier to lose the meaning behind the words.

I recommend this book to teenagers and adults who are interested in realistic fiction. It's got some heavy content that may be unsuitable for younger readers, especially due to the mention of subjects such as rape, teenage pregnancy, and the amount of swearing the book. It's a wonderful story about adversity, and everyone over the age of fourteen should read it.
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on December 13, 2015
Everyone has a story to share- this is the purpose of the story The Color Purple by Alice Walker. One aspect that makes this novel interesting is the aspects shared by characters in the book and people in Alice Walker’s life. These similarities are seen by Celie’s sister Nettie, Pa and the main character Celie.
The purpose of this novel is seen in the backstories of the characters in the The Color Purple. The story begins with the backstory of Celie. It tells about her physical abuse by her Pa, leading to a future dislike for men, and her unfailing love for her sister Nettie. The book then proceeds to tell the stories of Celie and her sister Nettie and show the effect their past has had on their presents. An example would be the abuse to Pa and her husband Albert leading to her hate for men and “passion” for women. Throughout the story God is show as Celie’s salvation and a safe haven for her. We learn that Celie sees God as a white man with a beard and since Celie is having some trouble with men she starts to have some problems with God as well. This is until Shug tells Celie that “God is whatever you see it as.” God is neither man nor woman, white nor black. God is everything and everything is God. The idea of God being a salvation is also shown in the life of Nettie, Celie’s sister, as she becomes a missionary in Africa. After leaving home, Nettie’s life takes a completely different turn than Celie’s. While Celie is stuck is an loop of never ending abuse, her sister Nettie lives a fruitful life while in Africa. Although Celie and Nettie grew up in the same household, their personalities differed which could have been what led to their differing lifestyles later in life.
Another way the author shows how different people’s lives can be is the shift in point of view throughout the novel. The story switches between the point of views of Celie and Nettie in the form of letters. The entrance of the novel is a letter Celie writes to God. However, Celie loses her faith from all the terrible things that happen to her and she stops writing the letters. Later on, Nettie writes to Celie in order to tell Celie of the wonderful adventures she is experiencing while in Africa. The letters are first kept from Celie by her abusive husband Albert, but after Celie discovers the letters exist, she begins to read them and write responses to Nettie. In these letters, Celie tells Nettie all about her life and the people she meets. In these letters they are essentially telling each other their life’s stories.
The author wrote this novel to elaborate on the fact that everyone has a different life story and that everyone’s stories are different. This is important because life stories shape who we are and how we act. Everyone is has a different story which leads to the diversity of people and their behaviors. Overall, the author did a good job in achieving her purpose and it made this novel a good read.
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on April 8, 2017
A sublime story of love, forgiveness, family and growth in the south. Celie has been used badly by everyone in her life. Shug uses her too. But she allows her mind to expand and see the world; through Nettie; through her God given talents; through love and sexual gratification. Extraordinary book...
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on April 28, 2016
I truly enjoyed reading this book for the first time after having seen the movie at least 20 times or more. Reading the book gave me the opportunity to really get to know the characters. In the story, we see Ms. Celie evolve from a woman with no voice to a woman who finds her voice. Alice Walker's story showed us how any of us can experience hard ache and pain, but that we can rise above it.
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on April 26, 2017
One of my favorite books EVER. I've read it several times and it's still just as good. I'm not into the whole "female empowerment" movement, or any of the other political stuff Alice Walker is known for. I just love the story line, the characters, the whole book!
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on January 20, 2016
I bought this book for my college class and I am so glad that I was given a reason to read it. This book BLEW my mind! I don't recommend anyone who is younger than 18 to read this book because of the explicitness and trivial topics. I am freshman in college and I read this last semester, but since I was in a higher level English class, everyone was older and more mature so I was expected to be able to read this. The book itself isn't super difficult to read, it's the content and topics that are hard to digest.

This is the first book to truly resonate in me and after finishing it. I felt so many mixed feelings lingering for least a week because it was so profound. I was so excited to write my essay on this book because it was so easy to analyze and pick apart. If you read this, research Alice Walker's biography because there's a lot of parallelism and it will explain a lot in the book.
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on June 30, 2016
Outstanding. I found the writing style a trifle bit odd at first but as soon as I got past the first few “Dear God” I was deeply immersed and committed to the novel. I thought that during the first part of the book the protagonist of the story, Celie was speaking to God, pleading for some reprieve to the harshness and loneliness of her life. Once she starting reading the letters from Nettie she turned from God, who she felt never heard her to her sister, but at this time was writing her thoughts to Nettie. The movie has long been one of my favorites and the book does go into greater detail about the relationships between the characters, so I would highly recommend reading the book if you have seen the movie.
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on December 11, 2016
After growing up watching the movie again, and again, I was so happy to find this book. I couldn't stop reading it once I started. I finished it that night. Very easy read, and you can really feel like you know the characters. Some similarities to the movie, but puts the movie to shame. Much better written book than movie.
The story will stay with you, and you will think of Celie, Shug, Albert, Sofia (I wonder what happened to Hennreitta, if she was ever diagnosed with sickle cell or not and if she survived) and Harpo, and all of those characters who become family to you. Well written, can't say enough good about it!
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on March 28, 2016
I absolutely loved this book! There were so many times throughout the book that I was on the edge of my seat, crying, worrying, happy, and overjoyed, and every emotion in between.

It took me a little bit to get used to the book being written in letters to God, or between the sisters. And I liked Celie's letters more than Nettie's, but I think that was more because we spent the first half of the book was strictly from Celie's POV and I had developed such an attachment to her.

I love Celie, and in ways, I can relate to her journey of finding herself, standing up for herself, and learning to not take s*** from anyone.

This book and it's characters are inspiring and lovable! I'm so happy it was picked for February's book for Our Shared Shelf.
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on March 26, 2014
This review is for people (like me) who didn't like the film, and are considering reading the book. It contains only minor spoilers as to themes.

I took a VERY long time reading this (decades!), and only then at the urging of my pal Jorge, because I didn't like the film (except for Whoopi Goldberg's and Oprah Winfrey's stunning performances). I didn't like the knee-jerk portrayal of men and white folks as the bad guys, combined with its general negativity. After reading the book, I like it even less. For me, the film was WOEFULLY incomplete and a hatchet job, contrary to the spirit of the book, which, with an exception or two, does NOT dwell on resentments, ills, injustice. (not that there WEREN'T egregious injustices, or GROUNDS for ills and resentments, it's just that these specifically were NOT the focus of the book).

The book's most important aspects were left out of the film. What a delicate, artful dance of one person's (and others') almost imperceptible evolution over time. Also handled with astonishing subtlety and perceptiveness was the interplay between men and women, black and white, involving both need and interdependency, and power dynamics. Walker doesn't draw parallels, she's much more subtle and gifted than that- indeed, every person and relationship in this book is unique, individual.

The story of Nettie, Celie's lost sister, was given short shrift in the movie, and it's as important to the narrative as Celie's. Her experiences were seemingly light years' removed, yet universal. Another aspect I loved was the DETAIL, so particular, so realistic. Walker's keen eye (she said she channeled the book, I can believe it) spotted and reported the details that would stick with an observer, would be noticed, if just in passing, in every scene. Walker gives you the seedlings, the saplings, the trees in such a way that by the end, the entire forest fills your heart. This is a book about change, RESILIENCE, the passage of time, the nature of love, forgiveness, so MUCH that is profound and inspiring. Don't miss it!
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