Sophie Marks' path to artistic and personal fulfillment takes her from World War II England to post-war Paris and the Italian countryside of Umbria, where she learns that creativity alone is not enough to sustain a rewarding life. She leaves Europe in 1967 and spends the next two decades in the American Southwest. Acclaimed at last as an artist, she returns to England to confront the hidden memories of her childhood and to test the possibilities of a renewed love, a passion ripened by maturity.
A beautifully realized saga of a complex, gifted woman, Broken Colors is a rich story, deeply affecting and wise. Named a Notable Title in December 2007 by the independent bookstore association, Booksense.
This book is published as a paperback original.
"With soaring lyricism, Zackheim limns an exquisitely haunting portrait of an indelibly scarred, yet deeply passionate, woman." - Booklist.
"Zackheim delivers the epic life of a woman whose art and survival become ever more tightly bound with passing years." - Publishers Weekly.
"This is a beautiful novel, sometimes comic and always wise. Visual artist Zackheim imbues the novel with her deep knowledge of the art world, from techniques to agents to the world of galleries." - Library Journal.
"I loved Broken Colors, it went into my heart and stayed there." - Vanessa Redgrave.
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Rated of 5
The author defines the artistic term of "broken colors" as the mixing of two colors to create a third. The mixed color has a muddy cast versus the luminous quality of the pure, unmixed version. Unfortunately, the execution of this story is muddy, with the characters drawn on a two dimensional plane. The story is interesting, but without density or emotion conveyed in a spare narrative style. The most intriguing part of the story is the weaving of the art themes throughout. Perhaps too much ground is being covered in too few pages
Rated of 5
Characters on Canvas
Broken Colors is a feel good novel from beginning to end. Michele Zackheim’s writing style flows like the paint on the canvasses that Sophie’s grandfather paints. She had me from page 22 on when Sophie's grandfather, Eli, sketched a map of the world and placed a box around England. His sketch became a metaphor for his story illustrating how Sophie was the center of his world. Zackheim’s descriptions of Sophie’s childhood and her grandparents,and the feelings that the author established in the reader, set the stage for the remainder of the novel and the physical and emotional travels of Sophie. I would highly recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys character development that is both realistic, soul searching, and heartwarming.
Rated of 5
Too many colors
My interest in words is much greater than my interest in colors. I found the many 'colorful' descriptions throughout the text tedious to read. I should have known ... given the title. I enjoyed the character descriptions and the poignant ending. Would I recommend it? With reservations...it just wasn't my favorite read.
Rated of 5
Jane from New Jersey
Michele Zacheim captures the readers attention with the story of young girl whose life has seen tragedy but is living a life that seems almost idyllic. At one point Sophie asks the question..."why have I been so battered by misfortune?" It was at this point that the same thoughts were going through my mind. Whatever sadness that Sophie endures she always has her art to focus her attention on. Throughout her life, her art gave her as much happiness and love as it did sadness and loss.
Learning about the life of an artist and how much art affects their life, and how much life affects their art was truly amazing. It is this combination that made this book truly enjoyable and a worthwhile read.
Rated of 5
Broken Colors is the story of one woman’s life. It is the story of losing the people and things that are important to you and then going forward with life. When I read the book I felt that Sophie never ever fully recovered from a nervous breakdown after the deaths of her family. Sophie’s story takes her many places, as she seeks to find herself. The book is full of emotions and one that is difficult to put down once you start reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to friends, family, and my book club.
Rated of 5
This book really resonated with me. I've taken some art classes and although I'm no artist I could readily identify with Sophie's obsession with her painting and the difficulty she experienced in trying to reconcile her work with her personal life. Sophie's life was not easy and although filled with broken colors, it was a rewarding one. This would be a good book for a book club. Sophie's decisions would provide rich material for discussion. A well crafted and well written story. I give it 5 stars.
Michele Zackheim is the author of one previous novel, Violette's Embrace, and one work of nonfiction, Einstein's Daughter: The Search for Lieserl. Before turning to writing, she worked as a visual artist and has shown in numerous museums and galleries.
More at MicheleZackheim.com.
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