I loved The Color Purple but have not been able to struggle through any of the other of her books I have tried to read, including this one. It's like she's trying to cover the whole black experience over hundreds of years, plus lives older than that. I read 140 pgs in this effort but will not try her books again.
This book, filled with the author's unique combination of magic and reality, is a sweeping yet intimate novel about people who are tormented by the world's contradictions--black vs. white, man vs. woman, sexual freedom vs. sexual slavery, and past vs. present. Transcending the conventions of time and place, Walker's novel moves from contemporary America, England, and Africa to unfamiliar primal worlds, where women, men, and animals socialize in surprising ways.
''The Temple of My Familiar'' again bears a message from Africa, but this time in a far more determined manner. The message reaches us via Miss Lissie, an ancient goddess who has been incarnated hundreds of times, usually as a woman, sometimes as a man, once even as a lion. Less a character than a narrative device, Lissie enables Alice Walker to range back in time to the beginnings of (wo)man.