Incomplete Read: Temple of My Familiar

According to Goodreads, I’ve only invested 2 weeks time into Temple of My Familiar. I feel like it’s been an entire month and I’m just not getting through it. Each day I tell myself, I’ll knock out a few more pages—or I convince myself that I’ll finally finish it on my days off, but nope. I’m just not interested and I can’t make myself get interested. So, after 150 pages, I’ve decided to put it down. Maybe I should have a long time ago. After Third Life of Grange Copeland, I had really high hopes for Temple of My Familiar, but after my mom mentioned that even she couldn’t get through it . . . I officially give up. In the meantime, I found an article online that helped me realize where things went wrong.

AliceWalkerHaroldBloomReviewers generally applauded Alice Walker’s 1989 novel, The Temple of My Familiar, for its development of ideas and themes introduced in her earlier fiction and essays—its castigation of white and male oppression, its valorization of African American and female identity, and its emphasis on the importance of community and female friendship. At the same time, however, they were perplexed by the novel’s conglomeration of narrative techniques and styles. Joyce Maynard, for example, labeled The Temple “a radical feminist Harlequin romance written under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms . . . There’s a little black history here, a little crystal healing there, with a hot tub and some acupressure thrown in for good measure.” (Read more . . . )

So that was it for me. The “narrative techniques and styles.” Sounds like a good place to point the finger.

And now I must move on to the next book. But one of these days, I’ll pick up another novel by Walker. Just not any time soon. Even if Celie, Sophia, and Shug promise to make an appearance again.

Happy reading y’all.


5 thoughts on “Incomplete Read: Temple of My Familiar

  1. Naysue, I am telling you I just could not get into it. It was the same frustration I had reading Beloved by Toni Morrison. I remember chunking the book at the wall. I was just that frustrated. I like her other books. But that one. I just couldn’t do it.


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