Saturday, June 17, 2017

“The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker

FM’s ratings:
  1. Premise 8
  2. Prose 9
  3. Plot 8
  4. Characters 9
  5. Overall 8
Comments (optional - but try to keep it under 3000 words!)

How does one give an overall rating of "8" out of "10" to a Pulitzer Prize winning novel? Different criteria, I guess. This novel is Important. There is no doubt about that. The Steven Spielberg movie made from the book may be even more important, having received 10 or 11 Academy Award nominations (famously winning none). I don't typically rate a book based on its social relevance or topical interest. But I did enjoy it enough to rate it pretty high. The prose is a valiant attempt at writing in the way the characters spoke in the time and culture being depicted. We even see some improvement in the diction of Celie as she continues to grow over the years. As with most stories told in letters written between the characters, a lot of plot detail is merely inferred. Do we need books that show us the conditions that post-slavery blacks endured? Sadly, yes. To remain ignorant of these issues is to be in danger of repeating them. This book is an effective reminder that we still have a long way to go as a species before we can truly call ourselves "civilized." 

Here’s the July line-up!

"Divided in Death," by J. D. Robb [7-1-17]
"The Brethren," by John Grisham [7-8-17]
"Deadlocked," by Charlaine Harris [7-15-17]
"Grave Peril," by Jim Butcher [7-22-17]
"Hiss and Hers," by M. C. Beaton [7-29-17]

(As always, if there are any books you’d like to recommend for next month, please do so. Also, if you have already read one on our previous lists, you are invited to send your ratings and or comments for that book!)