The Colour Purple

A book many of you had read previously, in the 1980’s when it first hit the book shops…..

Starting with the vocabulary, African American, we decided that probably the nearest dialect in French would be Creole?  We all agreed an amazing feat to try to translate as the language was so specialized,and difficult to grasp and to read in English.  Could it be accurately translated into ‘other languages’?  We were not sure.  The style, epistolary, again not always enjoyed, but those of you who really did enjoy the book this style made the story very personal, as if Celie is talking to us individually.  A brutal and terrible story of a girl growing up without any love or affection from adults, completely uneducated and underprivileged in every way, betrayed by her own family and community, but with a deep love for her younger sister, and who eventually overcomes her overwhelming problems by writing to ‘God’ (us), and by showing everyone around her compassion and kindness.  The women in the story are strong and conquer their various setbacks, ill health, cruelty, racism, a male dominated society, by looking after and caring for one another!  You liked their characters and decided the Shug….was short for Sugar…..clever……

The second part of the story was the oppression of the Africans in their homeland by big business and the destruction of their environment, the interesting relationship between the missionaries and the indigenes.

On the minus side, some of the parts of the story a ‘bit far fetched’ ie, boat journey back to UK, did Nettie and her family really return or were they blown up in the ocean by the Germans?  You decided they did return but because of the ending the story could have been geared to a ‘Holywood Happy Ending’ film?  A couple of you mentioned this as a negative point.

A dark novel but one which ended brightly..a la a Hollywood blockbuster film.  On the whole we all enjoyed reading, and re-reading…..A copy of the film is being passed around.