The Colour of the Soul is an intense read that will surely make you pause and thank your stars that you live in a different world. This engrossing story spans almost a hundred years and portrays palpable emotions amidst some heinous deeds. The book switches between the present and some past events outlined in journal entries written by three women.
Andy Carmichael is a Chicago based journalist who comes to Georgia to write the memoirs of an old woman – a hundred year old plantation owner. Estranged from his wife, Andy encounters racial hatred the moment he steps into the small Georgia town. We learn that Andy used to live here as a child but was sent away. He has to stay with an African American family and only visit the old lady when she is strong enough to talk. Andy is presented with journals written by the lady and her mother and sister, and these go back a hundred years. Are things really that different in 1948? Andy is ‘too black to be white, and too white to be black’.
The Klan is on the hunt and Andy faces attempts on his life. The journals unfold a completely unexpected tale as Andy reads about the old lady’s son Henry Jr. Andy misses his wife and tries to ignore the attentions of a vivacious maid. As the story progresses, Andy realizes why the old lady chose him to write her story.
I loved this book for its strong plot. There are a lot of characters and the story weaves in and out of the past and present. There are multiple narrators in the journals. So you definitely want to be able to pay some attention while reading this book. It is not possible to say more without divulging any spoilers. But The Color of the Soul is a must read. And an extremely well crafted book.