Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

4 Stars!

One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston's beloved 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.
A true literary wonder, Hurston's masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published - perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature.


Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage remain unparalleled. Her many books include Dust Tracks on a Road; Their Eyes Were Watching God; Jonah's Gourd Vine; Moses, Man of the Mountain; Mules and Men; and Every Tongue Got to Confess.

This was a great story, very sad, very authentic, and very real. 
As great a story as this was - it was a very hard book to read. It was very slow going due to the language.  It was written in a broken southern black dialect. She wrote the book just like it would have been spoken. The problem was that it made it very difficult to read. It was almost like you had to decipher every sentence. For me all this took away from the story. I felt like I was decoding it instead of enjoying it. Some reviewers said her use of language was beautiful - for me it was just distracting. But would I have wanted it written any other way? No! then it wouldn't have seemed as real and I would have been complaining that  "Black southerners didn't talk like that." So as hard and slow as it was - it was "right" and I just had to deal with it.
About half way through the book I found out there was a movie made about the book starring Halle Berry! I love Halle Berry anyway so I thought this would be a great way to help me through the book. So I got the movie from the library, invited the daughter over and we watched it together.
We both cried through the whole thing! What a touching and sad story this is! My daughter said it was the saddest movie she had ever seen!

So while I gave the book a 4, I give the movie 5 Stars!

I very highly recommend that if you have read or are going to read this book watch the movie as a companion. I should have used this as one of my Book to movie/Movie to book theme I have coming up in the fall!
This was a book I got from the library. I got the movie from the library as well.
I love you library - Muah!


  1. I couldn't get through the book only because I found the language hard to get through. However, i loved the movie and seemed very close to the book.
    Excellent review!
    Janiera @ Books & Beauty

  2. Awesome review. I'm still waiting for the library to get the audio copy for me since I gave up on reading it due to the language. I have to see if the library has the movie as well.

  3. I need to read and see this one.
    I tried the book once but had so many issues with the language. I should check if it's available on audio. Thanks for your review.


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