The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Just got back from our book club on this book. It launched many discussion tangents about racism, which was cool. The story is compelling -- about a Jewish woman who left her extremely unpleasant family as a teenager. She moved to New York and eventually married a black man some time in the 1940s. The book alternates between chapters about the author's upbringing with stories from his mother's life. There are a lot of aspects and layers to the whole thing: immigration (she was born in Poland), Jews and African Americans living in the south, the author's identity confusion, his mother's complete silence about her own upbringing (until he pried it out of her for the book) and general stoicism and abrasiveness, her embracing of Christianity, her having 12 children, her two beloved husbands, the family's struggle and poverty and ultimate success. The book wasn't flawless by any means, but it was a fascinating story.
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