We do not read a lot of non-fiction in my book club, but boy am I glad that one of us chose this book to share with the club. "The Color of Water" is a very timely choice with the current state of race relations in our country. What I enjoyed the most about this book was not the fact that a white Jewish woman chose to marry a African-Amercan man in the 1940's. I loved the story of a mother and her children - all twelve of them. Jame McBride's mother was not a perfect person, as no one is including our own moms, but rather a strong mother who found a way to shepherd her flock through thick and thin.
James McBride began searching for his mother's story, her family, her roots, her past without any help from her. During this process he finds out a little bit about himself and more about the trials and tribulation that helped to shape the woman his mother became. This is the amazing story of his mom, Ruth McBride Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew who immigrated to America with her family as a young child. She had an abusive father and a handicapped mother, but she learned that life is what you make of it and preceded to make as much of her own as possible. Ruth was married twice and had twelve children who all grew up to be valued members of our country. They attended school and married and raised families. They became lawyers,
doctors, neighbors and parents.
They learned lessons sometimes through hard knocks and sometimes through the nuggets of wisdom that their mother taught them along the way. One lesson that Ruth instilled in them all, is to get your education, the best one you can and go as far as you want to get to in life. Please read this American story of what you can become in our great country if you try hard and work harder.