Emma Watson's Book Club · Reviews

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

“So what you think? I ast.

I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout 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 with. The more I wonder, he say, the more I love.

And people start to love you back, I bet, I say.”

I absolutely adore how approachable The Color Purple is. I adore how it reduces so many I-don’t-understands to dust, so many excuses to ashes, with its simplicity. One will only not see if one chooses to.

“Here’s the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don’t know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit.

It? I ast.

Yeah, It. God ain’t a he or a she, but a It.

But what do it look like? I ast.

Don’t look like nothing, she say. It ain’t a picture show. It ain’t something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found it.”

If I had to choose one word to describe this book I would probably go with openness. There’s space to discuss God and religion, love, violence, homosexuality and racism… and the limit is how far Celie, our main narrator, wants to go, how far she allows herself to go. This, in itself, is a testimony to our capability of acceptance and understanding. It’s not always easy, sometimes it involves swimming against the tide, but we can reach as far as we wish to.

The Color Purple should come with a warning: read before you are sure of everything. Conviction has legs and sometimes we get lost staring at their shadow. If only we stared long enough to see that their size changes according to where the sun is shining, if at all, from…


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