Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review -- Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Book source:  Public library
Genre:  Classic fiction
Objectionble material:  None...that I can remember
Read it for Ladies of Literature book club



Dear Ms. Hurston:
I must admit – I was a reluctant at first. I got bogged down with the afro-centric dialog. I was reading pages over and over again, just to understand. But suddenly, like reading Shakespeare or Jane Austen, it all started to make sense – beautiful, beautiful sense. It wasn’t always easy – but it was worth it.  

You have written a coming of age story like no other: Janie Woods -- granddaughter of a former slave, no memory of either her mother or father, who sets her sights on a life of love and adventure.

But her grandmother marries her off, against her will, to a man twice her age. Unhappy, she leaves him for Jody Starks, the man she thinks will make her dreams come true. But he belittles her and forces her to work in his store, while he reaps all the glory and money. 

Finally, you provide Janie with Tea Cake – a man full of adventure and ideas. In spite of the murmurings of the town folk – Janie leaves with Tea Cake to work the “muck” – the growing fields of the everglades -- where they befriend characters like, Motor Boat, Stew Beef, Coodemay, Bootyny – and a whole host of others who laugh and gamble and dance the days away.

But you still don’t make things easy for Janie – you take her to the depths of degradation as an abused wife, to surviving the devastation of a hurricane. Then you put her in a position know woman should have to face – choosing one’s own life over that of your spouse.

Finally Ms. Hurston – you give us Janie – a woman who survived it all – who lived to tell about it. And did so with love, honor, and without regret.

Thank you for the privilege of marveling over your brilliant words.