Color of Lightning, The

Jiles, Paulette

  8 Reviews

Britt Johnson, a freed negro slave, and his family, travel west to settle in the plains of post-Civil War Northern Texas. It is Indian territory: a place of violent confrontation between settlers and Indians. Based on oral histories, this extensively researched story offers compelling insights into the Native American culture and the experiences of the settlers, illuminating a tragic episode in American history.

Comments from Groups

Thoroughly enjoyed by 8/9 readers. We loved the historical lessons - brutally honest. Beautiful descriptions of the setting - nature as the enemy and the saviour. Richmond 007

Gruesome start but everyone who perservered really enjoyed it. A most interesting discussion about the clash of cultures and many other topics ranging widely. Thoroughly recommended. Palmerston North 001

Most enjoyed and appreciated learning something which few of us had much awareness of. Napier 023

Beautiful writing, believable characters and a taste of history few of us knew much about. Found the first few chapters difficult (graphic violence). Nelson 015

Most of the group found this book interesting, we learnined of the relationships between white, black and Indian in Texas at the time (1870). All agreed Jiles descriptions of the natural world are beautiful and evocative. Christchurch 10



AUCK 196
We all really enjoyed the historical aspect of this book. The full and careful research made the factual parts so enlightening. Very interesting and clever way the author interwove the various cultures ( black, white and indigenous Indians), and their experience of and attitudes to the land.
The story was a surprise - well received by most of the group.
CHCH 185
A very interesting and challenging book which produced a good discussion.
Mixed opinions of this book but some very lively discussion afterwards. Very sad book - we thought it would make a good film.
MAST 005
Beautifully written account of Britt Johnson's ventures - violent scenes cleverly integrated with calmer and slower moving chapters. The plight of indigenous peoples is problematic with all parties thinking they are right.
THAM 002
Led to a good discussion on a range of related issues. Quite shocking how recent these events are in U.S. history.
AUCK 199
The subject matter made this book difficult to read, but it was worth overcoming our scruples. Don't start reading it at bedtime as you won't sleep. It is complex, challenging, informative, and clearly well researched. The writing is beautiful and the descriptions of the landscape exquisite. Tackles a very difficult time in the history of Texas with aplomb.
We all loved this book, a fitting companion to previously read News of the World. Harrowing reading in places but well worth persevering. So well researched that the characters, locations and relationships are compellingly real. Highly recommended.