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Color Me Butterfly: A Novel Inspired by One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph [Kindle Edition]

L. Y. Marlow
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Inspired by a true story, Color Me Butterfly follows four generations of mothers and daughters—haunted by a common specter of domestic abuse—as they discover the strength, hope, and courage to survive.
The last thing Eloise Bingham wanted was to leave the comforts of her South Carolina home and family. But at the end of World War II, the young wife follows her husband, Isaac, to Philadelphia—only to experience his sinister and violent temper. Eloise’s children—and their children and grandchildren—will face their own trials over the next sixty years: Mattie, who has lived in her mother Eloise’s shadow, finds it takes a life-changing tragedy to help her break free; Lydia, Mattie’s strong-willed daughter, summons the resolve to rise above the cycle of abuse; and finally, Treasure, Lydia’s lively daughter, has the chance to be the first to escape her family’s destructive legacy.
It will take unconditional love, old-fashioned family values, faith, and fearless determination—already embedded in each woman’s DNA—to triumph over a life plagued with unspeakable pain.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"Based on the author's own horrifying true tale of four generations of women surviving domestic abuse, Butterfly powerfully illuminates the emotional impact of a crime that claims the lives of more than three women a day."

"With a clear and courageous voice, L.Y. Marlow reveals the unspeakable horrors of a family’s legacy. After four generations of women and children are held captive within a dark chrysalis of domestic violence, one of them finds the strength to break free. Color Me Butterfly is a haunting journey that ultimately leads toward miraculous healing and renewed spirit."
Beth Hoffman, bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycut 

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

L. Y. MARLOW is originally from Philadelphia. She is the founder of Saving Promise, a national organization dedicated to raising awareness of and ending domestic violence—which has affected several generations of her own family. This is her first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4778 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (August 3, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PLH6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Legacy of Abuse August 31, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Color Me Butterfly" chronicles the lives of 4 generations of women who have been impacted by physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse by the men they hoped would love them. Based on her own experience and those of her mother and grandmother, the author describes in brutal detail the dynamics and personalities of both the victim and the perpetrator. This kind of behavior is neither inherent nor genetic, but comes as a result of being personally denigrated or witnessing the abasement of other people. Rooted in the unconscious and nurtured by denial, silence and shame, the rage and sense of inadequacy simmers unrecognized until something triggers its appearance. Ms. Marlow tells her story in a way that is both poetic, factual and fairly non-judgmental, allowing the characters to convey their own understanding. Although it ended on a somewhat hopeful note, it is discouraging to see the huge barriers facing women in this situation ~ barriers that are cultural, emotional, financial and legal. Abusive relationships are present in all socio-economic, religious and ethnic groups and despite a vast improvement in awareness and intervention, show little sign of fading. Much more work needs to be done to help women to understand their own needs, redefine what it means to "love", to be family and to "be a father" and to recognize the signs of potential abuse before they are in too deeply to escape. Circumstances were implied, but I would have liked to know more about the family history of the men as well as the lives of Eloise's other children. An excellent choice for discussion.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abuse Beyond Comprehension August 29, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was a book that I sometimes had a hard time reading. It is the true story of one families abuse told through the four generations of women who lived it.

The most heart wrenching is the story of Eloise. She was a young African American girl living in South Carolina when a handsome smooth talking Isaac swept her off her feet. They were soon married and living in Philadelphia with three children, they eventually had eight children. Isaac relentlessly beat his wife and children. They lived in a constant fear and avoided him as much as possible. His abuse was so much more than physical violence as is most domestic abuse. Eloise was a strong Christian woman and had a big heart and forgiving nature. She prayed and prayed for her childrens safety and her husbands salvation. She didn't know any other way to make it and she tried all she could to keep her family in food and clothes, often working herself when her husband didn't have enough to pay bills, yet he would beat her for working. The children soon began to hate their father for the evil man he was.

The second oldest child, Mattie, continued on this path of destruction with her husband Ray, who beat her as bad as she had received from her father. He eventually was stabbed in a racial fight that Mattie was a witness to. Mattie had five children with Ray and struggled continually with the problems of drugs with her son and pregnancy with her teenage daughter. She protected her kids like a mother hen with corporal punishment of her own but she was never evil and always provided and cared for her children. They always came first in her life.

Lydia was Mattie's youngest daughter who was determined to not repeat the pattern of her mother and grandmother before her. She would not let anyone harm her or hers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story That Needs to Be Told December 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Color Me Butterfly by L.Y. Marlow is a riveting story of abuse, abandonment and the resilience to go on. This is listed as a novel, but the story sounds so true, the people so real, that one has to wonder. I suspect there is more truth than fiction in these pages.

The violence depicted is so real that it is hard to read, but I felt compelled to continue. Even with all the emotional and physical abuse heaped upon the women in this story, they fought on to raise their children and have the best life they could have. These four generations of one family displayed more courage and strength than one could imagine under such great odds.

I would recommend this book to everyone as I believe we all need to see and understand just how domestic violence affects everyone.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful November 18, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is very powerful and in a lot of cases very moving. We become immersed in and a part of the lives of these four women. We can feel their pain when we read about their immense physical and emotional abuse. Horrible things are described in this book but the over-riding and overwhelming message to us is one of survival and strength when one is seemingly powerless. I loved the way this book spanned the generations and showed how abuse usually is something that is "passed down" to the children. How because the parents were in an abusive relationship the children subconsciously then thought it was either ok to abuse or to be abused. There are some very interesting characters in this book all of which you develop a relationship with (either a positive or a negative one) despite what I would consider a very fast moving plot. I recommend this book for anyone who likes real life narratives and for the fans of Push.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escape November 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very touching story of several generations of women seeking to break the cycle of domestic abuse. The characters were developed and bound together with love, faith and courage. The book was well written and thoroughly enjoyable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Book to read
Loved this novel.
Published 2 months ago by Betsy Cracker
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
Knowing that all of the abuse detailed in this book undoubtedly is not isolated, makes this a study guide of sorts. Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Took me on a very emotional ride but was still a. Good read.
Published 3 months ago by Katrina Griggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Speechless
I sometimes forget that I'm reading generations of stories.It's truly an amazing of my favorites. Would read over and over again.
Published 4 months ago by Natnael Lemen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I enjoyed this book the story line great.if you want to read a good book inspired this is it good read
Published 4 months ago by velma j wise
4.0 out of 5 stars it did seem somewhat repetitious in taking three generations before it...
It is a well written book and interesting to read. However, it did seem somewhat repetitious in taking three generations before it could become evident that abuse both oral and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great reading.
Published 4 months ago by Frances Vecchione
1.0 out of 5 stars no plot and too much foul language.
I did not finish the book as I found it sallow , no plot and too much foul language.
Published 4 months ago by bhaagen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book ~ the abuse was hard to take ~ ...
Great book ~ the abuse was hard to take ~ but real ~ sad to know people actually have to live like this
Published 5 months ago by Elaine Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars This book told they story for many and for many ...
This book told the story for many and for many untold. I pray, it will help and heal a generation of abused women. Read more
Published 5 months ago by datpic
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