26.03. Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

I find it daunting to review a book that is a classic and has received as much critical acclaim as this book has. And it is, an amazing book.
OK, I’m just going to unpack my little case of superlatives- because I just can’t find enough of them to describe this book. Where do I start?
I loved the rhythm of the writing in this book and the poetry in Neale Hurston’s metaphors.
I loved the heroine of the book, her spunk and gumption are truly inspiring.
I loved the story- I was genuinely intrigued to find out where the story was going.
I loved the love- this book for me is ultimately about finding the right one, the one who will accept you as you are and love you no matter what.
It’s funny and witty, brimming over with endearing characters and cracking stories.

But first things first. Written in 1937, this is the story of Janie Crawford and her journey to womanhood and independence.
Janie, married off at 16 to an older man by the grandmother who raised her, waits for the love to follow their marriage.
“Yes, she would love Logan after they were married. She could see no other way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so. Husbands and wives always loved each other, and that was what marriage meant. It was just so. Janie felt glad of the thought…She wouldn’t be lonely anymore.”

The book traces her journey of love and independence. It’s quite a journey for her to understand what true love is, and what love isn’t.

The language used by the characters has the lilt and rhythm of a different time. It takes a few pages to get used to, but is worth persevering with – and rather fun to read out loud.

But what I liked most about this book was that it truly fulfilled the Italo Calvino definition of a “Classic”:
“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”
For me the messages at the heart of the book are that no matter what obstacles we face in life we should back ourselves and go our own way.
The message of true love being real and being worth it is also fundamental to the story.
And I believe these are very important messages for everyone- especially today.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is an incredibly enjoyable read with a lovely message at it’s heart.

4 Stars out of 5 from me.

1/50 for The Classics Club

7 thoughts on “26.03. Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  1. Pingback: 21.03. Bookstores and book challenges « Like the World.

    • Why thanks, thats very sweet of you. I have to say, I procrastinated so much on reviewing it, because I really wanted to do it justice- I was a bit intimidated! So its lovely to get such nice feedback.

  2. I hadn’t heard of this book, (probably I dismissed it because it has God in the title) but it sounds like it would be worth a read

    • Hi Shelleyrae, I hadn’t heard of it either, it came up in my bookclub- one of the girls picked it. One of the great things about bookclub- I read stuff I would never pick up!
      It was a bit tricky to get hold of. But so worth it!

    • I understand why for sure! I think its one of those books I’d like to reread every few years. Such a wonderful heroine and so beautifully written- and so funny!

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