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The Color of Water Audiobook

The Color of Water

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling story from the author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her 12 black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother. The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his 11 siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother's footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. At 17, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life's blessings and life's values transcend race.

Interspersed throughout his mother's compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self-realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches listeners of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

©2014 James McBride (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (283 )
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4.6 (250 )
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  •  
    H. Carey Connecticut 08-23-15
    H. Carey Connecticut 08-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great book to listen to!"

    The narrators make this amazing book even better. Run, don't walk to listen! One of the best books I've come across in a long time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serena 08-02-15
    serena 08-02-15
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    "My all time favorite book."

    I had to read this book for my AP English summer reading. At first I was t excited about having to read a book I didn't pick out for the summer. Yet, after reading, listening, and re-listening to this book I'm so glad I did. There's so many things you don't catch the first or even second time you read or listen to this book. Truly one of my favorites.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maribee7 Earth 07-31-15
    Maribee7 Earth 07-31-15

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Narration"

    I loved this book when it came out years ago and was excited about hearing it. Narrators great, but different characters sound the same. It was hard to tell who was speaking. Also narrator (man) not that great with female voices. But overall enjoyable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Savoie 04-03-15
    Savoie 04-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic story"

    Wonderful true story. So inspiring by its profound humanity. Great performance with voice changes for every character. Loved every minute of it and recommend it highly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradford Lartigue Big Sky, Montana 09-24-16
    Bradford Lartigue Big Sky, Montana 09-24-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Beautiful Human Race Heritage"

    I enjoyed this book a great deal because of the emphasis it places on family and importance of family! It also allowed me to reflect on the mixed race heritage of my own family. I would recommend this book to anyone who considers themselves a part of the human race and sees themselves also as "the color of water."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulapucci 08-31-16
    Lulapucci 08-31-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Just ok-- I expected more"

    Great story of an amazing woman who had been through hell and raised 12 great kids, but I was underwhelmed..probably from all of the hype.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Fallbrook, California, US 08-29-16
    Amazon Customer Fallbrook, California, US 08-29-16 Member Since 2014
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    "touching and so revealing"

    loved it. love truly is all there is. so wonderful to be reminded. recommend it for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katequa 08-19-16
    Katequa 08-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "AMAZING"

    This book was really good with audible and I highly recommend it ! This book was great!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Few Falls Church, VA 07-13-16
    Ms. Few Falls Church, VA 07-13-16 Member Since 2013

    Dimples - Keep Smiling

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    "I love Ruthie too"

    I love this book so much, I revisit this story every few years. James McBride, I can't help but admire and love your Ruthie too.

    Thanks for writing your mother's story and yours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn J. Lowry 06-14-16 Member Since 2011
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    6
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    "Great story"

    I loved the author's story and how he told his mother's life story along with his story. I loved it. I applauded them both. The performance was excellent. loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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