Author: Alice Walker
Narrated by: Alice Walker
Length: 8 hours
Published in: 1982
My Thoughts: This was an amazing book. Parts were very tragic, made even moreso by the realness of the characters. It reminded me a lot of Push by Sapphire, which I read last year. (Interestingly enough, I read both in audio format…) Both books center on a woman who was sexually abused by her father and had two kids by him. The similarities really end there, especially because of the two completely different worlds in which the women live–1930s South and 2000s Harlem.
I really liked the format of the story, in letters to God and Nettie, but it was a bit strange in the audio aspect. Regardless, the 0story spans such a long period of time and I loved hearing about what was going on in Africa from Nettie’s letters. The sisters have very different lives. I was completely heartbroken when Celie got the telegram saying Nettie, with her husband Samuel and Celie’s own children by birth, Adam and Olivia, had probably been killed when their ship home from England was sunk by German mines. That was the most tragic part, for me. Celie had been looking so forward to seeing her again. And, while I know it would be pretty morose, I would have preferred that to have stayed true. Celie’s life comes full circle and there is a happy ending, with Nettie, Samuel, Adam and Olivia alive and Celie making peace with Mr., whom she had been forced to marry at fourteen. But there was something I didn’t like about that ending. Maybe it didn’t seem that real to me, where the rest of the story had been very real. Yes, Celie deserved the happiness she got–she suffered a lot throughout her life. But I didn’t feel it fit with the rest of the story.
My Thoughts on Audiobook Format: I loved that Alice Walker narrated this version. She really understood the characters, because she created them. And the dialect made the story much more real. That is one reason I feel certain stories are just better in audio. I might not have been so into it if I had just been reading the story.