Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Temple of My Familiar

1989, 1990 Pocket Books edition
Alice Walker
The Temple of My Familiar
Bought newish for $5.95
Very worn paperback

As with The Color Purple, this book is not as good as it was 20+ years ago.  Although it engaged me more this time than Purple, it also annoyed me more.  I found the most interesting character to be the half-sister of the granddaughter of Celie from the previous book.  (The family tree is complicated, particularly when you factor in reincarnation.)  She's just about the only one who feels like she's living a life, rather than just proving a thesis.  Everyone, including her but especially Miss Lissie, is given to speech-making and educating each other and the reader.  I was especially annoyed when two characters discusses Quicksand, such a superior book.  While there is a part of me that is sympathetic to Walker's feminist paganist vision, I would rather have read that material in the form of poetry (and I generally don't like poetry), or had her make plausible characters first, and have their "growth" genuinely emerge.

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