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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.