Book Review – The Color Purple

The Color Purple

The Color Purple is a book I’d heard of but knew nothing about. I was excited when it was posed as an option for our August Book Club selection, and it quickly gained my vote. I like the idea of being “well-read”, and I don’t think you can truly do that without dipping into some of the older, more classic reads. It was a delight to borrow this one from the library and cross it off my list.

Book 27:
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker

Epistolary novel, Fiction, Domestic Fiction


Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, The Color Purple is about two sisters, Celie and Nettie, who hold their bond tightly despite their rough childhood and the journeys their lives take them on. Set in the early 20th century, Nettie becomes a missionary in Africa while Celie becomes child wife living in the South. This creates very different experiences and viewpoints on life for the sisters, but one thing holds true: they are loyal to their family no matter the time, distance or silence between them.

Favorite Quote(s):

“You ast yourself one question, it lead to fifteen. I start to wonder why us need love. Why us suffer. Why us black. Why us men and women. Where do children really come from. It didn’t take long to realize I didn’t hardly know nothing. And that if you ast yourself why you black or a man or a woman or a bush it don’t mean nothing if you don’t ast why you here, period.

I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering about the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, he say, the more I love.” 

-Alice Walker, The Color Purple

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” 

-Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1983)
National Book Award for Fiction (1983)


My Overall Rating:
3.5 – I think somewhere deep in the colloquial language there is a great story here. I see why this book is so highly praised – the overall story is one we all need to hear – it is just one that was a definite struggle for me. I’ll admit, I have a hard time reading books written in colloquial language in the first place, but this one also lacked standard grammar, and therefore, I struggled even more to follow. There were points I had to read and reread before really understanding who that part was even about.