Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

watching godPublished: 1937

Genre: fiction

Setting: Florida, 1930s

Length: 193 pages

Interest: It was a Time top 100 book

Summary: We get a first-hand account of Janie Crawford’s life. She heads off to Eatonville, a town run by blacks. She’s married to the man who becomes mayor of the town. He sets her up on a pedestal, so when he dies, Janie wants to have some fun. She ends up marrying Tea Cake, who is much younger and includes her in everything. They go down to the muck in the Everglades, picking beans and living together happily. Their time together is cut short by a hurricane and a rabid dog.

Final thoughts: A thoroughly enjoyable book. It’s not something I would have picked up on my own, which is why I read other people’s lists of “good” books. Not a lot of action, but the way the story is laid out puts you in the shoes of the protagonist very nicely. While it was written in the present, reading it now, the book is a bit of historical (although not THAT long ago) fiction. The author manages to give Tea Cake a rather unique death (getting bitten by a rabid dog). The book is apparently a very important female coming-of-age book amongst blacks. It felt so short after the Game of Thrones books.

Title comes from: I’m not sure. I don’t remember the phrase showing up in the book at all.

Reading challenges fulfilled: None, since the review is of a book I read in a previous year.



Filed under Book review

2 responses to “Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  1. I really like your template for book review. I’m sure you have tweaked it as time has passed…I’m going to spend ALOT more time here!

    As for this book, I read it with a book group and, like you, I wouldn’t have picked the book up, but the beautiful language got me! I read it some time ago, so I don’t remember much but that about it. But really great and lyrical writing is one way to get this book worm to fall in love!

    • natalieinne

      I have tweaked the book review template quite a bit, considering I started writing reviews for myself in 2005 from one of those “Books I’ve Read” journals you can buy. Now I just use a blank notebook, and I’m a bit horrified when I go back and read some of my earliest reviews.

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