Essay on The Color of Water by James McBride

726 Words 3 Pages
The Color of Water Book Review

In this memoir, the author chooses to have two narrators, himself as one, and his mother as the other. This style makes for quite an interesting story, skipping back and forth in time, from the child's life, to that of his mother. Although many time changes occur, they are quite easy to keep up with, as the two narrator's of the book, James, and his mother, alternate chapters. For this reason, it is also very easy to compare the childhood of each of the main characters. Although the chapters aren't always during the same time periods of the respective characters, they are close enough that similarities can be seen, and parallels can be drawn. This is one of my favorite parts of the novel, seeing the
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Although it is just like any other book, in that its successfulness will be judged by sales as well as how it affects readers, the author only went through all of the research done in writing this book in order to quench his own thirst for finding out where his roots lay. This is quite evident in the reading, which seems to mention the history, and story behind nearly everyone, as well as every place. This makes for many interesting stories, but often-times ones that are too preoccupied with showing the reader what it meant to the author, and not as concerned with the enjoyment of the reader. This, of course, spawns another problem. With an author who is only concerned with showing the reader how it affected himself, you are deprived of what you really want to know about a given character. James has eleven brothers and sisters, all of which have something to add to the story, and yet the exposition given to each of them is far from satisfactory. Much more detail could have been given on what they thought of their mother, how each of them found out about her, who teaches and lives the motto "Don't tell anyone your business." For this reason, the children have the challenge of digging up the truth about their mother, and James takes it to the next level, by writing a book. What the book does offer a younger reader, like myself, is insight as to what it was like to
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