The Color Purple is a story of survival, spirituality, and the strength of the bond between two sisters, spanning two continents and nearly three decades. To hear Alice Walker read her own Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is an absolute treasure. Walker’s voice is clear, strong, and true a testament to the courage and hope that carries the main character Celie through the story.
Celie’s circumstances are unimaginable poor, female, uneducated, motherless, and African American in the Deep South she is without anyone to protect her, except her God. It is her communication with God and her other savior, her sister Nettie that sustains her and supplies the narrative of The Color Purple. At the beginning of the novel, Celie’s communication with both God and Nettie is one-way, however, as Nettie has been swept away from her, all the way to Africa, and God sends her few signs he is watching over her.
As Celie survives sexual abuse from her stepfather, the death of her mother, the violent loss of her two children, and marriage to the monstrous and cruel “Mister”, she remains kind and loving through it all. When the beautiful and liberated singer Shug Avery comes into her life, Celie is opened up. Shug tells Celie, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” Someone other than Nettie finally loves Celie, and she begins to truly see the beauty around her and believe her life is worth something.
In the preface, Walker says The Color Purple is the story of Celie’s journey from her place as “a spiritual captive” to “the realization that she…is a radiant expression…of the Divine”. Throughout the novel, Walker’s voice audibly breaks free of the bonds of abuse and cruelty into the freedom of spirituality and peace. It is almost as if Walker’s voice contains within each note the whole of the African American experience encapsulated in the courage and triumph of Celie’s story. Sarah Evans Hogeboom
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.
Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her, and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend, Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.
©1982 Alice Walker (P)2009 Alice Walker and Recorded Books, LLC
I absolutely find this novel inspirational and it amazes me how Walker effectively touches on so many historical/sociological/political issues within a well crafted story. This audio book is hard to listen to though, as Alice Walker just reads so slowly. I was going to use it in class with my 11th grade English students, but we didn't have the patience.
The Color Purple is such an important novel for us. Us women, us people, us survivors, us people who are here. Love it from the opening lines to the very last words. Alice Walker word dances the souls of her characters across a story that will make you see God, life, living and loss in a different way.
I've loooooved the movie ever since I first watched it. I've seen it over a dozen times, but never actually read the book. After seeing the play a couple of days ago, I wanted to buy the book but didn't have the patience to wait for it in the mail. I'm sooooo glad I got to "read" it through Audible in the author's own voice. So sad it's over.
I loved hearing Alice walkers voice coming through in the characters. She knew the voice and timing of the character and brought out the syntax and authentic intelligence of the character.
The character learns of sexuality and that's a humorous and love of life filled moment. When we first learn of the letters. Well I won't give it away.
Not sure. She's an actress though as well as being a fine writer.
Yeah. I was on a car trip.
A classic. But you get something important out of the audio format.
I got confused about timing since it was hard to tell when some of the letters were written. Celie's children must have been older than Sophie's but often they were made to sound younger.
But overall it was a wonderful story. I loved the ideas about God that were shared. The themes of family and love were ever present. Even forgiveness. There was longing and hope. And there were children--so many I lost track regularly.
Mom, wife, reader. I love reading a book I don't want to put down.
I always loved the movie but the book is better. I could really feel Celie's pain.
one of my favourites
the relationships between the characters
no to long
I enjoy storys that are about the struggles of black americans in the south, I like the sound of African American voice, deep and rich, it is very relaxing to listen to.
One of the best novels I have read. Deeply moving and thought provoking, it is a gut wrenching story of tragedy, injustice, and redemption.
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