The Color of Water

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The Color of Water

The Color of Water

Ruth McBrideJames McBrideAndrew Dennis McBrideHunter Jordan

James McBride always wondered about his mother's past. Later in life James finds out what his mother was hiding. Ruth McBride was once a Jewish young girl who had a rough family life due to abuse from her father. Ruth eventually left Suffolk, Virginia to go somewhere more promising, New York. In New York City, Ruth finds Andrew Dennis McBride, her first husband and father of her first eight children. Through her husband, Ruth converts to Christianity. Andrew Dennis and Ruth McBride started the New Brown Memorial Baptist Church. Andrew passed away from lung cancer while Ruth was pregnant with James. Ruth eventually finds love again through Hunter Jordan, the father of four more of her children. Hunter died of a relapse stroke. James' response to the death of his loved ones lead him down the wrong path. James starts to do drugs and does not care about school anymore. Eventually, James gives up his habits and focuses on his future and his mother's secret. During all of James' life, his mother never said anything about her Jewish routes. James persistantly asks his mother questions, uncovering her past. After learning about his mother's past, James realizes all the struggles she had been through and appreciates his mixed race.

My least favorite part of the book is when Ruth describes in detail of how her father, Tateh, physically and mentally abused her. This particular part was heartbreaking to read.

My favorite part of the book is when James reunited his mother and her childhood friend, Frances. Even though they haven't seen eachother in years, their friendship picked up as if no time had passed.

Favorite and Least Favorite Parts of The Color of Water:

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Major Characters:

Setting and Context:


The New Brown Memorial Baptist Church

Willmington, DE

Brooklyn, NYC

Years: 1920s,30s,40s, 50s, and 60s-90s.

(James and Ruth McBride)

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