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The Color of Family
by Patricia Jones

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0060509651

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Color of Family
Patricia Jones
Avon, Dec 2004, $12.95, 374 pp.
ISBN: 0060509651

African-American Antonia Racine Jackson has kept a secret from her beloved spouse and her cherished two children as well as other family members. Back in the 1950s in New Orleans, her brother Emeril and wealthy white Agnes Marquette had an affair that led to the birthing of a child raised as a white man.

Now years later her secret nephew highly regarded concert pianist Clayton Connor is in Baltimore where Antonia and her family reside. Antonia considers it is time to reveal the truth about her blood ties to Clayton. However, with Emeril dead and Agnes in denial, no one believes Antonia though her words creep inside Clayton’s mind as he begins to wonder if it is possible that he is of mixed race. Antonia’s revelation causes troubles and doubts in her family and that of Clayton’s.

THE COLOR OF FAMILY is an intriguing look at racial relationships inside a deep bi-family drama. The story line starts in the segregated 1950s south, but is at its best in the present day as secrets kept by the two female antagonists (Antonia and Agnes) are being revealed. Though Antonia comes across as mentally unhinged with a rationalization for her actions that fails to consider consequences on others and thus detracts from a powerful character study of race relationships then and now.

Harriet Klausner

 

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