Saturday, August 8, 2009

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

From Goodreads: One person the citizens of Eaton are inclined to judge is Janie Crawford, who has married three men and been tried for the murder of one of them. Janie feels no compulsion to justify herself to the town, but she does explain herself to her friend, Phoeby, with the implicit understanding that Phoeby can "tell 'em what Ah say if you wants to. Dat's just de same as me 'cause mah tongue is in mah friend's mouf."

The main things I didn't like about this book were the forward and the introduction. They were both nicely done, however, in the library copy that I had, they completely spoiled the book. In another book that I read recently deemed a classic, the forward also had spoilers. Have you ever encountered that in a book? This was my first time reading this book, so it was a bit disappointing having it spoiled right off. Now, onto the book itself.

The way speech was portrayed in this book was very interesting. Most of the time, you have to imagine how the characters sound, but in this book the characters' speech was written in such a way that I could easily hear it in my head. The quote in the summary is just one example. A person's speech tells a lot about them, and I thought it was very cool how this was brought into the writing.

The plot in this book was all over the place, in a good way. Despite the spoilers, plenty of things happened to keep my attention. The characters could be equally infuriating and endearing.

There was one particular thing that didn't feel quite right to me. Slight spoiler: Janie never once thought about having kids. We follow Janie through a significant portion of her life, yet that topic never came up. Rather she wanted to have kids or not, it would have been nice to know. To me it felt like that was a big hole.

Overall, this was a good, solid book. It didn't grab me, but it was still worthy of my time.

My rating: 3/5 stars

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