BAWC Week 24: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Let me just go ahead and say it: I love this book.

In fact, I dreamed about this book last night.  I dreamed that I was at my friend Gina’s house and she had stacks of all of Zora Neale Hurston’s books, and I was soo excited to get to read them.  Yes, I’m a dork.  I dream about books.

(Also in the dream Gina’s house turned into a moon bounce/kid’s crazy time.  And then I didn’t get to read the books.  Sad.)


This book would be one of my desert island books—I could read it over and over and not get bored with it.

It is lovely and beautiful, a book about love and life and womanhood.

And the names!  Tea Cake, Bootyny, Sop-de-Bottom, Stew Beef, Motor Boat, Coodemay, and Who Flung, to mention a few.

Why can’t I have friends with names like that?

The dialect was a little jarring to me at first, but I think this was a good thing because it made me read slower and really pay attention.

Lines I loved:

“She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net.  Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder.  So much of life in its meshes!  She called in her soul to come and see.”

“…love ain’t somethin’ lak uh grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch.  Love is lak de sea.  It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”

“If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t keer if you die at dusk.  It’s so many people never seen de light at all.”

I didn’t care much for the afterword in the book (who does?), but I did find out that several years after the success of her books she was working as a maid, then died in the County Welfare Home and was buried in an unmarked grave in Florida.  Which was…depressing.

Verdict: Loved it!  As usual.  If you haven’t read it, or if it’s been a while, go read it.  And then give yourself an awesome nickname like ‘Stew Beef.’

BAWC Total Books Read: 24

BAWC Total Pages Read: 7140

2 comments to BAWC Week 24: Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Your dream was accurate in that my house usually is a moon bounce/crazy kid kinda place. Inaccurate in that I don’t have this book here. Yet.

    By the way, you can stop calling me G-Dawg and start calling me Stew Beef, if you like. (Actually I don’t think I mean that. I haven’t eaten stew beef in at least 25 years and it makes me a little queasy to think about it…)How about Sop-de-Bottom? Or Coodemay? You choose.

  • Tori

    For some reason Coodemay sounds like it should be slang for a woman’s…private parts, doesn’t it? What if I call you ‘Pimento Cheese?’