Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

**Summer reading, book 10**

2 months after Chris and I started dating, he gave me Their Eyes Were Watching God for Christmas.  I remember being incredibly impressed.  I’d mentioned wanting to read it (and about a thousand other books) in passing, and he’d remembered.  He’s so good at things like that.

I took that gift to Illinois when I visited my family for the holidays, then I left it there and didn’t get it back for 4 months.  I never finished reading it.  I’m good at things like that.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years, and it’s Summer Reading 2016.  Remember the theme: books I own that I’ve never read.  It’s the perfect time to re-visit that book!

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a story about Janie Crawford, an African-American woman living in Florida in the early 20th century.  We get to see Janie as a teenager, getting married off to a man she barely knows; as a young woman, running off with a man who woos her; and as an adult woman, dealing with disappointment, unhappiness, death, and trying to find love again.  I don’t want to spoil it too much, so that’s all I’m going to say.

This gem is a shorter read and definitely more literary than what I’ve been reading lately.  There are parts that are hilarious, and most of the book is heartbreaking.  The story has so much soul.

Hurston does a great job of showing what life was like for an African-American woman in the early 1900’s, for better and for worse.  There were so many parts that I could relate to because I’m a woman, which I was so impressed with and so thankful for.  There were parts that I couldn’t relate to at all because I’m white and living 100 years later, which was humbling and eye opening.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a classic for a reason, and I highly recommend it, especially in this time where important discussions on race are thankfully happening.

If you’ve been thinking about race lately, if you’re looking for a different read, if you like classics, if you want something soulful, or if you’re a woman trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be: check out Their Eyes Were Watching God.  I’d definitely let you borrow my copy.

 

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