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Broken Colors: Book summary and reviews of Broken Colors by Michele Zackheim

Broken Colors

by Michele Zackheim

Broken Colors
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Oct 2007
    318 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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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Reader Reviews

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Cathy

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.

K. Johnson

Resonated
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.

Helen

Luminous and Vibrant
Broken Colors holds the reader’s interest in the loves and losses of Sophie Marks, a talented artist, as she lives and paints in England, Paris, Italy, and the American Southwest desert.


This book would appeal to a book club for absorbing discussions of the consequences of what Sophie did or did not do as she endured tragic experiences during her long life, finally making a "wide awake decision while staring straight on at gruesome memories".

Sophie explains that “broken colors” are the result of mixing two or more pigments of different colors, creating a new color which does not reflect light as the original colors did. She says that in order to keep colors luminous and vibrant, it’s important not to muddy your palette. Although mixed through their interactions, the palette of characters remains luminous and vibrant throughout this very readable book.

Patti - Greenwich,CT

Broken Colors
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.

Carole

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.

Jane from New Jersey

Broken Colors
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.

...10 more reader reviews

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More Information

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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