THE COLOR OF WATER
By James McBride
The Color of Water is a novel that has a mixture of many things . James McBride was able to illustrate the discrimination , racism , poverty and the American dream in one of the best seller novels at the New York Times. McBride talks in one chapter about his childhood and hardships while in another chapter the mother is the narrator for the incidence of her life. His voice and his mother’s voice together in one book. James never knew anything about the background of his mother nor did any of his siblings saw or heard any of their mother’s relatives. This has brought many questions to McBride as he grew up. And he insisted on asking his mother about questions of her past and who she was ? Thus , she finally revealed to her children and to the world who Ruth McBride was ! or in fact who Rachel Shilsky was.
Rachel Shilsky was from a Polish Jewish family that migrated to the United States of America when she was only a child . They lived in the south Suffolk , Virginia .Where at the time racism against the black and Jews were prominent. Rachel suffered at school and neighborhood from teasing and racism for being Jews; when Jews were a minority in the States at that period . Rachel was raised in a household that had no love , and no means of any affectionate because of her mean father who had no respect or kindness for her handicapped mother from polio . Her father , Tateh, was a greedy man who had a store and made the children work there all the time; before school and after school. Rachel had no love for her father not only because of the way he treated her mother and brothers ; but also because of the way he treated her. He use to abuse her and she was afraid of him …which eventually made her run away from her house to New York to start a new life and find love . She married a black man and she was reborn being a Christian.
Her mother , whom she loved most died and she couldn’t even say goodbye to her. Her family refused her and to them she was dead because she married a black man . They sat “ SHIVA “ for her which means that she’sno more alive to them . That has broken Rachel ‘s heart as she loved her mother so much , she was her eyes and ears in America and translated everything to her. She found peace and rebirth in Christianity. Started a church with her husband . Rachel had 8 children from Mcbride and after his death from cancer she remarried Jordan and gave birth 4 more . Yes, She raised 12 children in pure love to God and education . She insisted on graduating them from higher schools and thought them on discipline and love. Ruth McBride or Rachel told James that his father Andrew McBride was a man of vision and that without him ; she could be lost.
One point worth mentioning is that Rachel was a very wise lady and never wanted her children to think that they were different from her and to suffer the discrimination . So whenever James use to wonder about why his mother was white ; she use to simply tell him that she was “ light-skinned “. And when he asked about the color of God , she replied that He was the Color of Water. As a child James had many questions about his mother and about the racism he use to face when going with her out. This book makes us live the incidence happened back in early 19’s . Worth reading.
Tuesdays With Morrie
It’s a story about life and for knowing life. As it says in the cover ” Life’s greatest lesson “ .
The story is about Morrie Schwartz , a professor at Brandeis University . After being diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ) , a no cure disease and knowing that he is dying ; he started sharing his life with the people and to give them all that he knows and experienced in life. Being in TV show , accidently one of his favorite student who was going through a hard time in his career and life ; saw him . This former student who had felt guilty for not keeping in touch after graduation starts dropping visits to his teacher . And so they started meeting every Tuesday to talk about certain things . They talked about death , growing old , money , family , forgiveness , culture and marriage . Morrie said that when people die , they don’t really die but they stay alive in our heart because that’s how love goes on . As “ Death ends a life not a relationship. ”
In a beautiful account he teaches us many lessons of life , things we don’t learn in high school . But from people , people who are older than us , who lived and been through a lot . They stare with us their experience so that we can learn from it and live life as we should before it’s too late.
I highly recommend you to read it; to everyone who really wants to have a reason to live. To love life .
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and how to let it come in .”
Tuesdays with Morrie
For George Orwell
Animal Farm , a story about a small farm owned by a farmer named Jones . Jones use to mistreat the animals , get drunk , forget to feed them and was so cruel with them. In one day the great pig , Old Major gathers the whole animals of the farm and narrates to them the dream he saw that the animals where going to rule the farm one day and that their future will change . Thus after his death , Snowball and Napoleon stand up for this cause and starts the revolution against the human and Jones. In a well-planned battle they kick out Jones and all the humans from the farm and they start ruling the farm themselves .
In the beginning , the animals used to do the work effectively , the harvest was better than in Jones days , the animals use to enjoy the food and leisure time . Things seemed so good. Not until the pigs try to take over everything and their greediness changes the habits and rules that was set by the animals in the farm were broken by the pigs .
Going through the story you will find that Orwell was referring this novel to the Russian revolution and the characters matches the leaders at that era . However, not only that time; but it’s a good example for the political problems in many countries . Some leaders try to rule over they give promises and set dreams nevertheless as they rule they change. Governments try to make us believe whatever they want us to believe .
The novel reminds us to be so aware of our civil rights and procedures as pigs break the rules they set and they manipulate the other animals. ( No animal should sleep on bed – No animal should kill other animal – No animal should wear clothes… etc. ) Yet, it was broken !
The novel really amazes me and its one that you would like to read over and over again. Read it to know how the farm was destroyed and the animals rule was not as flourishing as it seemed so. Interesting incidents go through and many characters will get us attached to the book.
Enjoy reading .