The Colour Purple: A Review

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker is the second book of #oursharedshelf- the #emmawatsonbookclub which aims to encourage everyone to read inspiring and poignant books by incredible women. Despite being the winner of the renowned Pulizer Prize award for fiction, it has been considered controversial and been the target of multiple censorship claims due to its violent nature.

The novel, set in the segregated Deep South of the United States, narrates the life of Cecile and those around her through the medium of letter writing. Initially these letters are addressed to God, but as the book progresses, they are addressed to those that Cecile loves.  

Cecile’s development throughout the story is transformative as she evolves from a passive, poverty-stricken, rape victim to a confident young woman. She is surrounded by a variety of very strong female characters, including her sister Nettie who is passionate about education, her daughter-in-law Sophia who can’t be controlled by her husband, and the independent and financially secure Shrug Avery. Each of these women encourage and help Cecile become empowered. 

It’s an emotional book that touches on so many different themes and important issues, yet is still, first and foremost, an engaging story about America's south.