Broken Colors

With soaring lyricism, Zackheim limns an exquisitely haunting portrait of an indelibly scarred, yet deeply passionate, woman.”         – Booklist

Thoughts    Broken Colors by Michelle Zackheim, Europa Editions 2007, 318 pages

FIRST SENTENCE:   Sophie Marks never knew her parents.

MOTIVATION for READING:    Europa Editions Challenge.   Picked up at BEA 2010.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:    An artist woman’s life story of growing up an orphan in England, going to art school and falling in love (with consequences), being the lone survivor of a WWII bombing of her home, running away to Paris to paint, marrying another artist and living in Italy, fleeing that situation and hiding in the American desert while becoming famous for her art and finally realizing true love back in Italy with the Italian husband.  Hope that’s not too spoilerful.

WHAT’s GOOD/NOT so good:    Some sentences are truly beautiful.  However.   It all fell flat for me and I was so bored and non-impressed that I almost gave up on it 5/6 of the way through.   I slogged on anyway to give it:

RATING:  TWO slices of pie.

FINAL THOUGHTS:   Zackheim also wrote a NONFICTION book called Einstein’s Daughter  and I am intrigued enough by the premise/history/subject of this to give the author’s glimpses of glorious prose one more chance.   Someday maybe.

RECOMMENDED?     Possibly quite lovely for anyone who enjoys lyric prose, lush descriptions, and references to art technique.

OTHER REVIEWS:    Coffee Stained Pages gives a beautiful description (and less plot than I did) of this novel.   I’ll be watching for more on the Europa Editions Challenge.  If you have read this, please let me know and I will add the link.

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21 thoughts on “Broken Colors

    1. I think that what she needed was a writer’s group – a few people to say ‘but what abt this?’ ‘where are you going with that?’ etc. I don’t think it was actually an editing issue but more things that seemed important never get brought up again.

  1. I don’t think this one is for me. I still haven’t read any Europe books, can you believe it?

    I’m good, btw! Hope your summer is going nicely!

    1. As for Europa? I love the feel of the books and the bright covers and that little flap. So for I’m 50-50 on the words inside the books..

  2. While I’m not entirely sure that this is the perfect book for me, it does sound interesting. Sometimes books with beautiful prose work really well for me and I get lost in the language even if the plot doesn’t move super fast but other times, it just falls flat and I lose interest. I’m not sure which one this would be for me.

    1. Jennifer, do what the challenge site for more reviews of this. Perhaps it was just me? Which reminds me that I need to go post this over there (if I can remember the password…. oops)

  3. Pooh. I was hoping you would say, Best book ever!, and then I could go get it straightaway because the plot synopsis, at least, sounds wonderful.

  4. Had to vote! even tho’ it’s likely too late. Thinking of starting a book club – I feel so in limbo/a vacuum in terms of my reading&writing…looking to make some connections and rekindle old ones.
    Every 4 weeks, every 6? You likey have posted about this topic before, but I’m just curious. Would love (I think) to kickstart something in September…thoughts?

    1. Oh, I love my book club! I actually crashed into this one at just the right time. I recommend books clubs for the chance to share love of books and getting together with the ‘girls’, ya know? I hope you can find some fun people to start a club. Good luck! or try the local library and see if they have any groups already reading something you might want to try.
      We meet once a month, right after school gets out ~ 3 pm and have dinner/drinks and sometimes actually talk about the book. We also rotate whose turn to pick and often we vote on a few or get told, ‘this is it’. Last meeting was a pool party.

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