Publisher: Harcourt Books (1982)
This is the tale of two sisters – one, Nettie, is a missionary in Africa and the other, Celie, a wife, living in the South. Through letters, they share their lives, their hopes, their dreams, and their desires through thirty years. Celie manages to shake the abuse with the love and affection of Shug Avery, her husband’s ex-squeeze, and finds herself with Shug’s support.
Nettie battles jealousies and death in Africa and somehow manages to come out okay enough to see her sister, Celie again.
The length of time they finally find each other again is thirty years but their experiences make them stronger people in the end. Albeit their unfortunate circumstances, they manage to see a brighter future with the people they encounter and be glad they have the opportunity to see another day.
The power of love, as shown in this book, most definitely conquers all in the most harrowing circumstances. Told in epistolary style, we see Celie’s vocabulary change throughout with some assistance from Shug and company and also her confidence grow with each passing entry.
Alice Walker is such an effective and powerful storyteller that I can only hope to write as well as she does. I look forward to reading more of her work!