The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple

Alice Walker

fiction Literary
emotional reflective sad medium-paced

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The Color Purple is a classic. With over a million copies sold in the UK alone, it is hailed as one of the all-time 'greats' of literature, inspiring generations of readers.

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker - a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

What the community thinks

summary of 3370 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

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Rape (7 reviewers), Pedophilia (6 reviewers), Racism (5 reviewers), Child abuse (5 reviewers), Domestic abuse (5 reviewers), Sexism (4 reviewers), Sexual assault (3 reviewers), Sexual violence (3 reviewers), Physical abuse (3 reviewers), Incest (3 reviewers), Emotional abuse (3 reviewers), Racial slurs (2 reviewers), Violence (1 reviewer), Toxic relationship (1 reviewer), Misogyny (1 reviewer), Slavery (1 reviewer), and Adult/minor relationship (1 reviewer)


Bullying (2 reviewers), Racial slurs (2 reviewers), Sexual assault (2 reviewers), Rape (2 reviewers), Racism (2 reviewers), Physical abuse (2 reviewers), Slavery (2 reviewers), Adult/minor relationship (2 reviewers), Violence (1 reviewer), Toxic relationship (1 reviewer), Sexual content (1 reviewer), Sexual violence (1 reviewer), Body shaming (1 reviewer), Child abuse (1 reviewer), Domestic abuse (1 reviewer), Incest (1 reviewer), and Death (1 reviewer)


Medical trauma (1 reviewer), Medical content (1 reviewer), Racism (1 reviewer), Physical abuse (1 reviewer), Child abuse (1 reviewer), Domestic abuse (1 reviewer), Incest (1 reviewer), Drug use (1 reviewer), Adult/minor relationship (1 reviewer), and Pedophilia (1 reviewer)


emotional 88%
reflective 67%
sad 61%
challenging 52%
hopeful 52%
dark 45%
inspiring 36%
funny 9%
informative 9%
tense 9%
adventurous 3%
relaxing 2%
lighthearted 1%
mysterious 0%


medium 65%
slow 18%
fast 16%

Strong character development?

Yes: 96% | It's complicated: 1% | N/A: 0% | No: 0%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 59% | It's complicated: 37% | No: 2%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 91% | No: 5% | It's complicated: 2%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 70% | It's complicated: 21% | No: 7% | N/A: 1%

Average rating


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