Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was never assigned this in school, and never knew much about Zora Neale Hurston until a restaurant opened in Washington D.C. called Eatonville. I became curious about Ms. Hurston, and why the proprietor would name a restaurant after her home town. (They've got great food if you're ever in the area. There's a porch inside with rocking chairs, your napkins are tea towels, they serve lemonade in mason jars. After reading the book, I understand the decor and the feeling of the restaurant. Based on Ms. Hurston's descriptions of Eatonville in Their Eyes Were Watching God, I can see how the restaurant is a wonderful tribute to Ms. Hurston and her home.)
In any case, this isn't a food review...that was just an observation.
I did thoroughly enjoy this book. The language is so lyrical and the imagery so vivid. For example, this about a sunrise:
Janie dozed off to sleep but she woke up in time to see the sun sending up spies ahead of him to mark out the road through the dark. He peeped up over the door sill of the world and made a little foolishness with red. But pretty soon, he laid all that aside and went about his business dressed all in white.
I admit that reading through the dialogue's vernacular was a bit slow-going, so I decided to listen to the audio version. I'm so glad I made that decision. The audio version is read by actress Ruby Dee. She has such a rich voice, and changes her voice for each character. She's so dramatic and listening to the story, I could picture it in my mind as a play on stage. Ms. Dee makes you really feel Janie's joy and pain. It was just beautiful.
I really loved it.
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