Ellen (West Hollywood CA)
Michele Zackheim did an admirable job of describing the overall effect that war has on an individual throughout his or her lifetime. Although I was instantly engaged the first few paragraphs, about a third of the way into the book I became frustrated with the main character.
She suffered great losses during the war so it is understandable that it would take significant time for her to get her life in order. However, with each passing chapter I became more and more exasperated with this woman. Just when I thought she would finally get her act together - she missed another opportunity to move on with her life.
I started the book very sympathetic towards the main character - but by the end of the book I just wanted to throttle her. I work with many Holocaust survivors who have suffered greater atrocities but have gone on to have a very full life.
Patti - Greenwich,CT (Riverside CT)
I truly enjoyed Broken Colors by Michele Zackheim. I have no previous art experience yet as a result of her descriptions the art work became very real to me.
I became engrossed in Sophie's life as she aged from a child to an octogenarian.Her art was the one constant as she coped with multiple tragedies ... [edited to remove potential plot spoiler] .... I enjoyed the happy ending having felt that Sophie has suffered enough. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading Zackheim's other works.
Jennifer (Oxford MS)
A Sad Story
This story starts out sadly. The heroine Sophie never knows her parents because they die at the beginning of World War I when she's a baby. But she's raised by her father's parents in a small English village. They encourage her to be a painter like her father and grandfather. During World War II, a German explosion kills her grandparents and almost kills Sophie. I was depressed by all the death and destruction, but I was glad that Sophie's life with her grandparents is mostly peaceful. I can relate to finding a job that you're passionate about and being encouraged to do it. Sophie is ..... [edited for potential plot spoiler ..... ]. It just took too long to get there.
Dorian (Bainbridge NY)
Upon beginning this book I feared that it was going to be too familiar, another story of a character wounded by war and unable to find "life". I even put it down for awhile. But, as I read more I found I was drawn to the characters, caring about them and hoping that they would have a chance at a "happy" ending.
I enjoyed the artistic angle of this book, along with the quotes that begin each chapter. They do not overwhelm the flow of the narrative. There is one spot that I felt the story line abruptly changed, but that may have been because I was hoping for a different outcome!
Overall, this is a well-written book that I would recommend.
Carole (Denver CO)
Broken Colors - words like a painting
There is a quote from Miro, toward the end of the book that spoke to my overall feeling of the book -he said "I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music." Zackheim used her words like a beautiful palette to paint a story that captured my attention and imagination from beginning to end. This is due, no doubt, to her talent as a painter as well as a writer.
While the storyline of the novel was wide-reaching it was inclusive of the various characters and side plots and came together in a way that one would have missed any component. The book flowed for me and was read easily over two long afternoons by the fire. While the ending was satisfying and conclusive I none the less was sad to not have the novel to pick up the following evening. It was a lovely lyrical time for me.
Julie (Jefferson ME)
A True Coloring
The plot of "Broken Colors", developed through natural dialogue and internal monologue, provides the impetus for the direction of this novel. In an easy descriptive style imbued with charm, wit and pathos, Michele Zackheim creates her heroine, Sophie Marks, as a resourceful, yet often temperamental, talented artist - Ms. Zackheim’s own visual art career establishes a credible base for the development of the story’s artistic theme.
When loneliness added to physical and mental suffering overwhelmed Sophie, I felt impelled to join her search for survival and wondered where she would find the courage to reach fulfillment in her work and relationships with friends and lovers.
In addition, I enjoyed the book’s cultural and historical aspects as the storyline meandered through English history during WWII and exposed its devastating effect on the innocent. It was also easy to imagine sharing Sophie’s bohemian artist’s life in Paris and then to follow her south to Italy where the author painted overlays of bucolic country life and flowing landscapes.
Broken Colors is a portrait of a strong, capricious, yet winsome woman whose struggle with personal tragedy colors her life and her search for inner peace and love.
Joan (Owego NY)
"Broken Colors"left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, it was visually exciting. The author's background as an artist was evident. It was a good story with important insights about the lasting effect of war on individuals but probably deserved a longer more fleshed out book. I was disappointed in the way certain parts were hurried and it almost seemed as if the author was anxious to get on to the next episode. It read more like an outline than a novel. That said I would recommend the book.