For the reading challenge category “a book written by someone of a different ethnicity than you” I read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This book has been sitting on my shelf for at least ten years and I had never read it. So I was determined to read it this year.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is the story of Janie searching for her identity as she fights against the family and societal expectations that direct her life. The story follows her over a long period of her life and through several marriages, each helping her to learn more about who she is and what she desires. Hurston tells a moving story the reader can easily relate to, and her writing is beautiful and poetic. Though the dialogue is written in dialect and can be difficult to follow at times, once I got used to reading it, it was much easier. Hurston creates life-life, sympathetic characters and explores themes we all wrestle with. I honestly was hesitant to read this novel because I thought it would be depressing, but it was excellent and I’m glad it’s not longer just collecting dust on my shelf.