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Book review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker’s beautiful story of pain and hope. It follows Celie, and African American woman growing up in rural Georgia in the early 20th Century.

Celie’s early life is painful and traumatic – she is abused by her father and later marries a man who only reluctantly agrees to be her husband, preferring her younger sister.

However, Celie tells her story with acceptance, laying it out with little emotion. Somehow, this restrained and matter-of-fact retelling is heartbreaking, revealing Celie’s naivety. She has never really known kindness except from her sister, from whom she is separated by her cruel and violent husband.

Later the only joy in her life comes from Shug, her husband’s former lover and the woman he wanted to marry. Shug is a glamorous singer who captures Celie’s imagination, and eventually her heart.

Eventually, the downtrodden and obedient Celie finds her own voice.

I listened to The Color Purple on audiobook, and I enjoyed hearing about a different time and world, and triumphed in Celie’s long journey towards freedom and happiness.

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