This was such an amazing read. First of all, it's all journal entries and letters, so it reads quickly (which was a joy to my 100-books-in-a-year plan) but, more than that, Celie is a character that you just fall in love with. It's the truest of coming of age stories, because it's all so real. She doesn't have one moment where she realizes all of the secrets to being a teenager or an adult, she just goes about her business and the worst things happen, but she deals with it like people do, and occasionally she reflects on what has happened and from there we as readers learn ourselves. She speaks about God, love, friendship, and faithfulness so simply, so matter-of-factly, but it's brilliant. Her better educated sister, Nettie, is the other "main" character, and she is who I think we would all like to be...but I have a feeling that Celie is who we really are. Stumbling around in the dark going by what we feel, by what we think is right, not knowing at all why things happen the way they do.
This was the first book in a long time to make me cry. It surprised me too, because it didn't happen until the last few pages where I thought I had a grip on where the story was going. But I cried, and then I cried when I finished because I really liked Celie. She became a friend, and I was very sorry that we had to part ways as I closed the novel.
I watched the movie in high school, in 11th grade, as part of American Lit, and the book has never appealed to me. I think there are some books that a person needs to grow into to be able to understand. I don't think I would have appreciated The Color Purple until now.
Book #4 is Cell, by Stephen King