Sunday, June 24, 2012

Charlene Reviews: Two Kinds of Color by Deborah Kennedy

ISBN #: 978-1449988012
Page Count: 446
Copyright: January 19, 2010
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from back cover)

A beautiful and sensuous woman, Freddie Walker, has fallen into the hands of a vain and greedy businessman, Jimmy Tate. His notorious reputation and illegal business practices allow him to take and make all the money he can.

On a stormy night Freddie decides to take her children and leave Jimmy for good. When Jimmy finds out he goes berserk and attempts to kill her. But her best friend, Ruby Johnson, a woman of deep faith who has a special relationship with God, arrives just in time. A struggle ensues and Jimmy is killed.

Freddie's children, two of them white, two of them black, are sent to foster homes and separated from one another. Freddie and Ruby are sent to prison. Did Ruby kill Jimmy? What sacrifices did Freddie make for the sake of her children? What secrets did she keep from them? What is their legacy? As adults will they have the courage to meet each other to find out?

Charlene's Review:

Two Kinds of Color is a multi-faceted story of abuse, pain, despair, and finally, hope. I admit to having a hard time getting into the storyline, at first. It bounces from character to character in a seemingly disjointed way, but after a slow beginning, the story falls together. Focusing mainly on Freddie, a white woman from Florida, and her tumultuous relationship with Jimmy Tate, it also incorporates the fierce friendship with her best friend, Ruby. Together, Freddie and Ruby negotiate life with Freddie's four children among prostitution, gambling, and violence. Of Freddie's children, two are white, and two are black, and in the late 60's and early 70's, this adds a degree of racism that runs deep. When Jimmy beats Freddie, nearly to her death, a shot rings out, and he is killed. Ruby and Freddie spend the next 30+ years in prison, and the children are all separated, but Ruby never forgets them, and long after Freddie is gone, has some secrets of her own to share.

While, at times, the story was explicit and the crimes hard to absorb, Ms. Kennedy writes with so much sincerity and passion, I couldn't help but get caught up in the details of a sad life, and its effects on the following generation. Being reminded of a time filled with such rage and prejudice made me angry, as I am a mother of "two kinds of color" and cannot imagine the hardships being visited on my children that they speak of in this book. A gut-wrenching, painful story that ends up teaching you the true meaning of friendship, in extreme circumstances.

*A paperback copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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