The color of family : a novel

by McGill, Jerry,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 7 copies
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A tragedy upends a family's delicate balance in an emotional novel about secrets, guilt, friendship, race, and reconciliation by Jerry McGill, author of Bed Stuy: A Love Story .

Who wants to believe their family could ever be broken?

Devon and James Payne are brothers and rivals since childhood. But they share an affinity for sports that brings glory to their Connecticut town and promise for the future. Then they're in a car accident. Devon is paralyzed for life, while James goes on to live the dream.

For the Paynes, the tremulous repercussions of that evening never settled. Over the course of a decade, Devon decides to visit his seven siblings now scattered across the globe. Each has moved on, yet each struggles to cope with the traumatic event that irrevocably connects them. Devon confronts not only his own demons and family secrets but also the guilt and heartbreaking betrayals that followed in the wake of the tragedy. He also discovers the power of forgiveness--and that coming to terms with the past is the only way to live free in the present.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The Payne family--Camille, Harold, and their children--has its issues, just like any other, but their deepest hurt stems from the accident. Sons James and Devon were bright and hopeful, athletically gifted beyond compare, but one night of drinking and driving leaves affable Devon paralyzed and older brother James with barely a scratch. Devon fights his way through recovery, and James moves on without him, shockingly so. The relationships between the brothers and their siblings spiral and slump under the weight of the family baggage, but for the Paynes, family is an immutable fact. Each family member's journey after the accident is haunting and profound, as multiple tragedies wreak painful effects across generations. The Paynes' story asks the question: can there be any singular origin of family pain? McGill's (Bed Stuy, 2021) prose is theatrical, packing every paragraph with action. The Color of Family crosses vast expanses of time and space, with secrets and twists unraveling at breakneck speed; it's deeply engrossing. The family's voices are alive and expressive through diary entries, interviews, rich dialogue, and detailed accounts of their familial relationships and social circles. The Payne family is unforgettable, and the humanity McGill observes through them is a gift."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "McGill (Bed Stuy) compresses a fraught epic about a wealthy Black family into a compact and underdeveloped mosaic. Harold Payne, a successful magazine editor, lives with his wife, Camille, in Connecticut with their six children as well as two children Harold had with a French mistress. One of his sons, 15-year-old Devon, drives drunk, kills a young woman, and emerges with a quadriplegic injury. While Devon is in a fancy rehabilitation center in California (where he sells cocaine), his girlfriend, Gina, carries on a secret relationship with Devon's older brother James, who escaped the car wreck uninjured to become a college football sensation. Chapters check in on the family over the following decades: Camille begs Devon to be tested as a kidney donor for an ill James, Harold has a stroke, Michel (one of the two French children) finds himself on the cusp of both fatherhood and rap success, and Devon, having flunked out of UCLA film school, faces prison for drug running. The shifting perspectives give contours to the sprawling family and its painful secrets, but the structure sacrifices depth for breadth. This novel of personal tragedies, bad decisions, and secrets doesn't quite live up to its dreams. Agent: Priya Doraswamy, Lotus Lane Literary. (Jan.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects People with disabilities -- Fiction.
African American families -- Fiction.
Forgiveness -- Fiction.
Connecticut -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Publisher New York :Little A,2023
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 239 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781542035651
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