The Color Purple – Alice Walker

the-color-purpleCelie, 14, lives in rural Georgia in the 1930s. She is abused and raped by her Pa who takes her two children away after they are born. Pa marries Celie off to Mister, an equally abusive man looking for a laborer. Celie’s sister Nettie comes to live with them, but runs off when Mister makes advances. Celie’s life changes when Mister brings his ill mistress, Shug, home. Celie falls in love with Shug. Together, they find letters from Nettie which Mister hid for years. Celie learns Nettie is living with a family doing missionary work in Africa, a family who adopted Celie’s two children. The letters give her the strength to leave Mister. When Pa dies, Celie returns home. She remains friends with Shug, although Shug proved an unfaithful lover. She makes friends with a reformed Mister. After years abroad, Nettie returns with Celie’s kids. They share a joyful reunion and begin what we hope are better years at the end of their lives.  This book evokes powerful emotions and rightly won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Award.

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