The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an epistolary novel written in a series of letters, to and from the main character, Celie, a young, black American girl. The Novel’s story follows her life in some shocking plot points and interesting revelations which keep you wanting to know more. The change in the character writing and therefore the plot line has a similar effect, making you wait a few chapters before finding out the next part of the other characters tale.
The book is full of interesting and unique characters including; Nettie, Shug, Sofia, Samuel and Corrine, who are all linked in some way and this becomes clearer as the novel wears on.
This historical fiction tells some of the story of what it might have been like to be black and growing up in America in the early 20th century. Through Celie’s eyes we can begin to understand some of the hardships the character faces. Additionally some chapters which are set in an African tribe’s village add a compelling cultural aspect.
The only thing I struggled with in this novel was the way it is written in Celie’s dialect, this meant that when a word came up that I didn’t know, the phonetic, American accented way of writing the word made it difficult to look up.
An interesting and different read, it is clear why it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983.