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Color Me Butterfly: A Novel Inspired by One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph Paperback – August 3, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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."
Essence

"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 

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307716619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307716613
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Very well written.
j.how
L.Y. Marlow lovingly recounts the stories of the people in her family who suffered in silence and survived in darkness.
Anne Caroline Drake
Even though there was some tragic things that happens in this book it was a very good read.
Catrina Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By deeper waters on 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 By Jeanne Anderson VINE VOICE on 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 By R. A. Taylor VINE VOICE on 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 By C. Smith VINE VOICE on 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 By P. N. Anderson on 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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