The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
reviewed by Kaitlyn Hanes
The Color Purple, by American author Alice Walker is a novel for all book enthusiasts, but it is especially enjoyable to fans of historical fiction. This novel is a tale of hardship and abuse, but also a story of strength and compassion.
Celie, the protagonist of the book and the narrator for the majority of the novel, overcomes the trauma of rape, the loss of her children, abandonment by her sister, and the abuse she is subjected to by her husband. Her lack of proper education is very apparent in the beginning of the book, but as the storyline progresses, her worldly awareness and intelligence increases exponentially. Her sister Nettie, a missionary in Africa, narrates other parts of the book. Though Celie begins this novel with the words “Dear God”, the last chapter begins with the words “Dear Nettie”. This novel shows the power of love, strength, compassion, and acceptance.
Overall, The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an empowering story for all people, especially women. The novel’s limited first person narrative and word choice allows for the reader to understand the hardships of women of color, and it sheds light on the struggles formerly faced by African Americans in the south. This historical fiction book will have a deep emotional impact on any reader.