Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride

For a long time, I've been interested in stories of the immigrant experience, religious conversion, and how people have survived abuse. McBride found all of these elements in his mother's story; I can definitely see how this book was a challenge for him.

Most of the chapters open with transcripts of his mother's recounting of her life. I found it interesting to hear the two voices, not exactly in conversation, but in how the story is maneuvered to best demonstrate the effect on the family members.

I've enjoyed the experience of this book, but McBide leaves at least as many unanswered questions as he unearths skeletons.

I do have to say that I wasn't impressed with the ethics of the extended family of McBride's mother. I don't think that much of their attitude towards the "poor kin" should be excused away even allowing for their times and brand of faith.

[originally posted on BookCrossing 5/8/03]

No comments: