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've always loved the movie, so when I found this e-book on sale, along with the audio version, I snapped it up. The narrator, also the author, did an amazing job of telling this beautiful story in the voice of its characters. I felt like I was right there on that porch enjoying the day while listening to their stories.
lover of books
Read this book years ago when I was in high school. This is the first time I've reed it again. I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time but better as an adult.
The best part was having Alice Walker read her own book; you knew that the characters sounded exactly the way she wanted them to. Fascinatingly powerful portrayal of US culture.
I grew up as clueless as some in this book...in Memphis. My daddy was a truck driver, but we had a black woman who ironed for us. My godmother had a full time maid....no children! She was born in early 1900s....grew up in the country...never questioned the way things were...
I own & listen to a variety of audio books constantly in car and gym. My reviews remind me what I’ve read & hopefully are helpful as well.
I hadn’t watched the movie and didn’t really know anything about the book. I didn’t really like it. As a point of comparison, it’s not as moving or memorable as Roots or The Help, both of which I enjoyed. The book started good but got tiresome fairly quickly. It was a twisted tale that I didn’t really care about what happened to the characters or how it ended. It was not so bad that I felt I should not continue, however. Here and there were a few interesting parts, but overall not too special. I’m not religious but I liked the religious themes more than anything else, for example @ 5:07. I was surprised by lesbian scenes. Author’s narration was actually pretty good. Overall, an average book that I don’t recommend unless you're familiar with the book and know what you're getting into.
I am a public speaker and entertainer that lives in The Beautiful Lake of The Ozarks in Missouri.
This is a book here! I remember watching "The Color Purple" in my later years of school and always remembering small catch phrases and thinking of Oprah telling it like it is. I regret that it took me so long to listen to this one. I thought the movie was incredible until I heard this! Why did they leave so many important things out of the movie? I know the movie couldn't be four hours long, but it should have been! The book is such a masterpiece. The ending is so perfect. The story really came full circle. As much as I hated that bastard Master, by the end, I really had grown fond of him in a way. I will say that the first few minutes had my jaw dropped on the ground and me taking the book off of the speaker and putting my headphones on instead. I have got an eleven year old son and some of the words in this book would make me blush! Once you get used to some of the graphic and direct language you understand that it is part of Ms. Celie's character. She was never taught that it isn't appropriate (in my opinion anyway) for A lady to speak that way. I loved the ending. I cried happy tears for them! I hated to let these characters go! I could have listened for days more and it still wouldn't have been enough.
I loved how easy it was to get lost in, very emotionally consuming.
I have no book I can compare to, but a movie... And I would say Forrest Gump. Same inspirational, " from nothing to something" feel.
Don't count your eggs before they hatch
This was a very beautiful story.
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