One sentence review: Their Eyes Were Watching God tells an inspiring story of a woman striving towards happiness, independence, and self-fulfillment during a time when women, especially black women, were often denied those things, but the be prepared to spend some time on the dialogue.
Once more, with feeling: It’s taken a few days, but Their Eyes Were Watching God is finally sinking in for me. Because the dialogue is written in a Southern dialect, I found it was best taken in chunks, a chapter here and there, leaving some time to process in between. Each line of speech really has to be read, and understood, then almost re-understood within the context of the novel.
When I closed the book, I was feeling unimpressed and glad to be done. But as I’ve given it some time to settle, I’m appreciating it more. The main character, Janie, is solid good. Over the course of the book, she learns about herself, about her needs and values and desires. She grows from a somewhat timid, obliging child into a strong-willed, self-sufficient woman–a feminist role-model to be sure.
I’d recommend Their Eyes Were Watching God to lovers of Southern lit, feminist lit, and anyone looking for either a strong female role-model or an authentic love story.