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Possessing the Secret of Joy - Alice Walker

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Author: Alice Walker / Genre: Fiction / Publisher: Vintage

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      17.02.2008 13:02
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      Frustrating at times and ultimately skims the surface rather than delving too deep.

      Author: Alice Walker's most famous and critically aclaimed book is probably The Color Purple, which was turned into a film in 1985. Walker is an African-American author and feminist who, as well as novels, also writes poetry.

      Plot: This novel focusses on the story of Tashi, a minor character in The Color Purple, who left Africa for a new life in America, and explores the tragic consequences of the female initiation ceremony.

      My view: Now, first off I have to admit to my ignorance, in that I haven't actually read The Color Purple. Given that this book pulls on some of the characters in that work, I did feel at a bit of a disadvantage. However, as it does not purport to be a sequel, but rather just elaborates on the history of other characters, I don't think it is essential to have read the books in any particular order.

      This book is written from a number of different points of view, and it switches very quickly, within a few pages. At first, this makes the book very confusing, as it is difficult to see how the different characters relate to each other, but gradually it settles down.

      The story is well thought-out, and the characters are very vivid, but yet I was still left feeling a bit disappointed. Not sure why - maybe I just expected more than this book was able to give, but unfortunately, despite the sometimes harrowing scenes, I was left feeling that a lot of it was only skimming the surface. For me, it didn't go as deep as it potentially could have done I suppose...

      Amazon price: £5.99
      Paperback: 272 pages
      Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (15 Jul 1993)
      Language English
      ISBN-10: 0099224119
      ISBN-13: 978-0099224112

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    • Product Details

      A novel about a character from Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Color Purple". This is Tashi's story, a shattering account of a young African woman whose decision to go through the female initiation ceremony has terrible consequences.