This story takes place over a period of 40 years, and revolves around the lives of five women. Megan, Janet, Lavina, Peg, and Cathy. Beginning in the...moreThis story takes place over a period of 40 years, and revolves around the lives of five women. Megan, Janet, Lavina, Peg, and Cathy. Beginning in the 40s shortly after war times the women meet on Radcliffe campus as freshmen. Sharing a dorm, sharing secrets and dreams they become close yet remain distant. Coming from different social circumstances they either tend to lie to impress, or gossip to feel superior. The story is a journey where not only the times change, but morals as well. The women are involved in situations dealing with abortion, divorce, extra-martial and interracial affairs, lesbianism, and cancer. Political issues are addressed when Megan fights for equal rights in the career field and Peg becomes involved in the Civil Rights movement. Self-centered Lavina marries for status rather than love and begins having suicidal thoughts in her older years when she realizes how shallow her life has been. Cathy who develops cancer, raises a child on her own (the result of a secret affair with a priest.) Janet's open marriage to a famous actor ends in divorce. These are SOME of the highlights of the women's years. The story draws the reader in through the interactions between the group.
Superior Women is an interesting look at self-awareness and relationships. It would make a good book for discussion.(less)
This review is hard to write without summarizing the story. There are so many surprising turns in Celie's life. I was stunned by her personal growth a...moreThis review is hard to write without summarizing the story. There are so many surprising turns in Celie's life. I was stunned by her personal growth and the obstacles she overcame. The family and friends she lives with all have their own up and down journeys through life, suffering various discriminatory injustices at one time or another. Celie survived years of abuse... as a young girl her father sexually abused her. When she ended up pregnant he blamed her for being promiscuous, then sold her baby. After this happened to her a second time, yes he did it again, he solicits a husband for her. Celie's husband, Mister, is much older than her with four children by his first wife. Forced to grow up quick, Celie becomes a stepmother and a housewife overnight. Her sister, who she has the closest relationship with is in Africa, and Celie doesn't even know if she is still alive. Mister is verbally and physically abusive to his new wife. When Nettie, Celie's sister writes to her, the letters never reach her hands .. Mister hides the letters and never says a word.
One day Mister brings home an old flame, Shug Avery, and resumes their love affair right in the same house he shares with Celie. Shug is a famous singer, whose talent is known and loved at all the area juke joints.
These are just some of the many things that contribute to inevitable depression for Celie. I think the turning point is when Celie learns to love herself. She realizes her importance after Shug reaches out to her and makes her feel special. Celie really hasn't had anyone to talk to, other than God, until Shug came along. Eventually they become as close as sisters … even closer in some ways.
At one point Celie tries to deny the existence God, but after a talk with Shug she starts thinking about the beauty in the world around her .. it came from somewhere, someone … everything is evidence of God. I liked Shug's thoughts about God's desire to be admired … “i think it pisses god off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and dont notice it.” And Shug explains that God doesn't just expect to be pleased by us, he gives us these beauties to make us happy. Everyone needs a little happiness to survive life's pitfalls.
Thankfully, the ending is joyous, and Celie is reunited with her sister and children.. I could feel her happiness after all she had been though. (less)