Thursday, March 01, 2007

Recent Reads

The Color of Love by Sandra Kitt

I bought this one based on Keishon's review. When both Karen S and Renee said they really enjoyed it, that made it 3 for 3 for me.

And WOW. This book blew me away!

Leah Downey is a young black woman who has a great job designing book covers. Jason Horn is a white cop who works with troubled youths. They meet when Jason is sitting on Leah's porch and it's obvious to Leah and her sister Gail that something is not quite right about this man. Despite that Leah offers him a cup of coffee and some weeks later he comes back to thank her for her thoughtfulness. Despite themselves they are drawn to each other and slowly work through the obstacles that confront them.
This is a rather slow book, but that works in it's favour. We get to know the characters slowly over time. Leah is a woman riddled with insecurities, many dating from a horrible experience she went through years earlier that has cast a large shadow over who she is now. Jason is a very decent guy who has made some mistakes in his life and still regrets and suffers from them. He is dealing with the tragic death of his son and wonders if he can love another woman after marriage fell apart years earlier.

What makes this book so incredible to me is that for the first time in longer than I can remember this book made me think. Sandra Kitt is very clear on the obstacles they will face as an interracial couple. Gail is dead set against her sister dating a white cop. Joe, Jason's black partner is dead set against him dating a black girl. Most of the people they know are against it. Leah seems to have more of an awarness of the problems that Jason does at first, but that's because she has lived with prejudice more than he has. But eventually, Jason begins to question whether it's worth it and Leah has been questioning it all along. But their love and their friendship and their attraction to each other cannot be ignored and they decide to live for themselves instead of what others have to say.
I've probably read better books, but I've never read one before that made me question things the way this one has.
As I said this book really made me think. I wondered if it was really like this and came to the conclussion that Sandra Kitt must know and that it really can be this difficult. And that made me very sad. The book was written in 1995 and I wonder if it's still as difficult for an interracial couple today as it was twelve years ago. And the fact that it might be makes me even sadder. Why should people who love each other have to face this kind of thing? It just seems so wrong to me. A few years ago I worked with a young woman who was in an interracial marriage. The first time her husband come into the office and saw he was white, I was a bit surprised and then I just felt 'good for them'. And that was about all. I see Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry and think good for them. Then I think he better be making her happy, cause she deserves it. And then I think boy are they a beautiful couple.
I took note of the other Sandra Kitt books that were mentioned in the comments of Keishon's review and I will certainly be looking for them.
Thanks Keishon. This one was truly wonderful and I can see why you've read it millions of times.
Grade: 5 out of 5


erika said...

TCoL made me a fan of romances with interracial heroines and heroes. I wish there were more published by the big name publishing houses but its the smaller publishers publishing a few every month. I try to buy as many whose plots interest me. If you're interested in reading more books like this one or multicultural romances try this review site:

Unknown said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this one Kristie. Still holds up well doesn't it? Those were the good ole days. sigh.

Kristie (J) said...

Erika: Thanks for the link! I'll look it up when I get home from work tonight. I loved, loved, loved this one and I'm certainly going to look for more by her. I saw one at the store last week but didn't get it because I hadn't read TCoL yet. But hopefully it will still be there when I get back.

Keishon: It did hold up very well. The only thing I noticed that struck me as a bit dated, oddly enough was the amount that Jason smoked. I am SO glad that I got this one based on your review. I can see a whole wide reading road that just opened up for me.

ReneeW said...

As I told Keishon, if you like this book, you should try Close Encounters. I loved it.

Anonymous said...

I read TCoL 5 or 6 years ago, and it made quite an impression. I sill remember details about it quite clearly, especially the sister lecturing the heroine, and the hero's job.

I think I read at least one other Kitt book right after that. An early glom, maybe?

erika said...

Kristi J, on Kitt's website she says she's writing a book on Leah's sister. I so disliked and still dislike the sister for what she did that I don't have the interest in reading about her story.
I do believe I'm gonna do a reread of TCoL.

dancechica said...

I read the TCoL about 4 years ago, and loved it. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it too. Seeing these reviews makes me want to read it again. :-)

Kristie (J) said...

Hey DC You're back!! Good to "see" you again! Yep - this one is a good one isn't it?

Erika: I didn't mind Gail that much. She just seemed very sure of who she was and what she wanted. I can't see her having a book though. Her story seemed to be pretty well wrapped up.

JMC: TCoL is a book that lingers long after you close the book. That's the kind I really enjoy and remember. I'm definitley going to be looking for more by her.

Renee: And Close Encounters will be one of those books! And the one that's on the shelves when I make it back to Chapters, if it's still there.

Gigi said...

I'm going to be looking this one up asap. I have stayed away from reading interracial romance because I'm in an interracial relationship and I don't want to read something that is going to minimize or trivialize what we've been through. It sounds like this book doesn't do either and I can't wait to read it.