Sunday 6 August 2017

Read along The Colour Purple

The Colour Purple was a good quick read.  I love how each 'chapter' was small, as they are written in letter form, either to God or to Celie's sister. Nettie.  As they were written in this way, it meant that I could read it is really short bursts, kind of like reading a blog post.  I really liked how the it flowed due to this.

A quick version of the book goes something like this...

Celie's life is hard, her mother dies when she is still young.  Her Pa, who she finds out later is not her abuses her and she is then shunned at church as she has 2 babies by him.  The father either gives the babies away or sells them to a local couple who are quite wealthy.  

A man approaches her Pa to ask if he can marry Nettie.  He puts him off her and marries Celie off to him.  Her husband already has children, so she is off to keep house for him.  Her sister Nettie is clever and Celie doesnt want her Pa to abuse her like she was so they hatch a plan for her to get away.

Without knowing Celie gets her to go and seek help from the couple that she sees in the street who are wealthy (without knowing it, these are the people that had taken her children in).  Nettie becomes a missionary with the couple and travels to Africa with them and stays there for 30 something years.  In this time Celie never hears from her.  But she writes her and God letters.

Celie's husband is actually in love with Sugar Avery and had children with her before he met Celie.  Sugar is a singer.  Celie falls in love with her, when the husband brings her home as she is very ill.  Celie nurses her and whilst she is there, the husband never beats Celie.  Sugar makes Celie believe that she is worth something.

Celie's husband, Albert, hides all the letters that Nettie has been writing to Celie, years and years worth.  Sugar and Celie, go through his things and find them.  Celie is broken by this.  After a while Celie begins to break loose and and one point tells Albert what she thinks.  Everyone is astonished that she has found her voice.  

Celie goes to live with Sugar. leaving Albert and starts a business of making trousers for everyone and anyone that wants them.    Something changes here and it is like she steps into the light and some how has some peace.  For one reason or another she starts to see Albert again and he is a changed man.  At one point he even says he would like to live like man and wife again.  Celie denies him.

Celie's Pa, marries a young girl and they live in a house built on Celie's biological fathers land and has been taking all of the money from the store as if he owned it himself.  When Pa dies, Celie finds out that the land and store along with all the buildings belong to her and Nettie.

After many years Nettie returns home and is reunited with Celie.

The end

I really liked this book.  I liked how it flowed and that it wasnt hard to read.  I didnt have to re-read anything and will definitely read it again.  Maybe even next year.  At the end of the book, I felt happy that Celie had Nettie again.  I dont think I would have liked it if it had ended with Nettie dying abroad.


Sorry it is a bit all over the place with this review.  Lifes a little busy right now.


Raybeard said...

I'll try to come back about this, Sol. In the last few days my life has been turned right upside down, something you yourself know all about - and is it pleasant? No, it is NOT! Bear with me a little longer, please.

Sol said...

Sorry to hear you are still having problems. I will be here when ever you come back, dont worry about blogging you get yourself sorted.

Janie Junebug said...

This book is great. I read it soon after it was first published. It's Alice Walker's best work, from what I know of Alice Walker.


Sol said...

Hey Janie, I really liked it. I cant find the picture of the outside of this copy of the book. It looks nothing like any of the ones online

Anonymous said...

Another of my favourites!

Sol said...

Hey Toffeeapple, I loved it. Hope you are well

Raybeard said...

This is going to be terribly unsatisfactory and inadequate, Sol, but I owe you some comment just to show that I did indeed read this - as you well know.

I hardly think I was alone in not knowing of this book - or even having heard of Alice Walker - until the Spielberg film came out in 1986. I first saw the film in that year in Munich - but dubbed into German! (I do so HATE dubbed films!). Then it must have been in the 1990s when I caught it on TV in English - and I've not seen it since. My recollections are sketchy - and uneven, as the more memorable visuals do not necessarily carry the same weight as are intended by the novel.

I was surprised to find that the entire book is in epistolary form. (The only other major work I recollect completely in that mode, which I have also read, is reputedly also the longest novel written in the English language, namely Samuel Richardson's 'Pamela' - good enough to read again when I have a month to spare.)

Anyway, back to 'Purple'. All through my reading of it I was trying to eke out wispy memories of the film on which to hang my mental imagery, and not always succeeding. I now think it would have been far better to have just banished the Spielberg from my mind and let imagination take over to do the work. It struck me that there is sufficient imprecision in the narrative to do just that - and that's what the author had intended. It seems clear that the film gave a spurious tangibility to one person's interpretation of the writing, a visual representation of something much more diffuse which may or may not have been valid.

Leaving all this talk of the film aside (I thought the film WAS good, by the way) I did find it hard to get a grip from the printed page on the successive incidents described in the main character's highly eventful life trajectory. Also, it's a book which, being in the form it is, places a requirement on the reader to remember details of a character's person, both physically (though these are very sparse indeed) and mentally.

I can't honestly say I enjoyed the book as much as I'd hoped, but that falling short of expectations is absolutely a spur to make me want to read it again - and next time I really MUST stop linking it to the Spielberg.

(Sorry, this has turned out to be such a stinker of a 'review', Sol - I mean the hopeless way I've written it - but my mind is elsewhere to a large extent right now. Hope to do better next time.)

Sol said...

I am glad you have left your thoughts Ray. People get different things from different books aand I am still loving that you are on this journey with me. Thanks for that! :) I super appreciate all the effort you put in! I learn a lot from what you see in the books that I have missed and it is helping me to open my mind and grow with the reading of these books. You cant judge the book by the cover...

Raybeard said...

I owed it to you to write at lest something, Sol, though it does fall short of the standard I usually aim at.

Btw: That longest novel in English is not 'Pamela' (though that's another) but Samuel Richardson's 'Clarissa', which is the one I HAVE read.