Set in the 1930s in Eatonville, an all black community located in Florida, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God tells the touching story of a woman named Janie. Janie endures three marriages throughout her lifetime.
Through these marriages, Janie grows into a strong and independent woman, a woman who differs from the rest of the women in her society. Janie’s first marriage is thrust upon her, for she is helpless and does not have much say. She makes the decision to elope with a man who she feels she will be happy with. Yet this decision does not favor her in the long run. Her daring and loving nature helps her finally find her true love, her third husband. He is the man of her dreams, and she admits that, “Once upon a time… Ah never ‘spected nothin’…But [he] came ‘long and made sumthin’ outa me.”
This novel is an enjoyable read. It’s dialogue is written mainly in Southern Black dialect, which made the reading bit difficult for me in the beginning. But after reading a few pages, it’s easier to follow along. This story has a good plot line which can keep readers interested and wanting to read more. I recommend this novel to teens and adults, especially females.