sydney's Reviews > Third Life Of Grange Copeland

Third Life Of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker
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's review
Aug 25, 2007

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Read in August, 2007

This is Alice Walker's first novel. It's pretty good. It follows three generations of Copelands, but focuses mostly on Grange and his son, Brownfield, both of whom grow up to be abusive, murderous alcoholics.

Walker does a good job of avoiding two-dimensional portraits. All of the characters are complex and carefully drawn, so you sometimes hate them at the same time that you feel compassion toward them.

There's an amazing scene where Brownfield's long-abused wife, Mem, finally stands up to him, and it feels really satisfying... but you know it can't last. Ultimately, this is a really sad story that raises a lot of questions: how much influence does a man's father have on who he grows up to be? How much can he blame his father for his actions? How can forgiveness happen among people who have been deeply hurt by one another and by society at large?

Recommended once you've read The Color Purple.

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Crystal Marie The scene you described as amazing is my favorite.

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