The Colour Purple by Alice Walker     

I first read this book when I was about 18 or 19 and thirty years later I can still feel the feeling I got from it when I remember back. It was the first book I’d read that wasn’t just a ‘story’ but that touched my mind and my heart. It, and the subsequent film, is still one of my favourites.  Celie’s fight to survive and then to thrive in a world and time where, as a black woman, all the odds where against her is so brutal, uplifting, heart-wrenching it will stay with you a long long time. All these years later when I walk past wild flowers I still think of Celie’s voice when she said ““I think it pisses God off if you walk by the colour purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”