“But the images were growing fainter every day, like snapshots bleached by the sun.”
The Color of Secrets was both exactly what I expected and nothing like I expected. Knowing only a brief summary of this novel, I wasn’t prepared for the in depth family saga and page popping imagery that was created as the author traced three generations from WWII to the 1990s. The impact of wartime romance and racial prejudices transform each character as they accept their past, their heritage and the lies they tell themselves. This book artfully highlights how the decisions we make and actions we take impact ourselves and our families for generations to come. The main characters, Eva, Louisa and Rhiannon all have strikingly similar personality traits as mother, daughter, and granddaughter in their inability to cope problems head on and to accept themselves for who they truly are. The author seems to show how, when one generation does not address an issue, the next generation is doomed to replay. My only negative critique would be about the occasionally confusing use of the third person omniscient. I’m tempted to cut the author some slack since she follows multiple characters through multiple decades but I do think it could have been better executed in places. Overall, The Color of Secrets beautifully illustrates the challenges of love during war –both world war and war from within– and society’s on going battles with racial equality. I would recommend this book to any reader interested in historical fiction that both breaks and melts your heart.