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Color the Sidewalk for Me (The Bradleyville Series #2) Paperback – March 10, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this excellent novel for the inspirational market, Collins uses her talent for suspense (Eyes of Elisha) in a more memoirlike tale that flashes back and forth between the 1960s and the 1990s as it explores a mother/daughter relationship. As the story opens, we find that 35-year-old Celia Matthews left home 17 years before, sure that it was her harsh words that drove her little brother, Kevy, from the house and prompted his bicycle accident. Wracked with guilt, embittered toward her mother and conflicted about her botched romance with Danny Cander, Celia shook the dust of small-town Bradleyville, Ky., off her feet and crafted a life for herself as an account executive in Little Rock, Ark. But her lack of mother-love isn't shaken off so easily. She bobs in and out of several relationships, losing her faith and emotionally treading water. Only when her father has a stroke and her mother pleads for help are the wheels of reconciliation set in motion. The story is beautifully written and the characters (whom readers will recognize from Collins's related stand-alone novel Cast a Road Before Me) are well developed, although the pacing drags in spots. The reason for Celia's lack of mother-love is not explained as neatly as might be wished; conversely, the conclusion is like a fairy tale, a contrivance that readers, depending on their tastes, may appreciate or find disappointing in. Overall, this novel exemplifies how Christian fiction is finally coming of age.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


2002 ACFW Book of the Year Award, Contemporary Category
2002 Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. Contemporary Category
2002 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Contemporary Category

"Excellent ... beautifully written and the characters are well developed." -- Publishers Weekly

"Life changing. Color the Sidewalk for Me gave me a completely new view of a mother's love." -- N.Y.
"When I finished Sidewalk I was in tears, moved well beyond words." -- J.N.
"I'm a fifty-three-year-old man and not generally subject to such wrenching emotions. But when I walked through the last pages of your book ... well, when I could see and breathe normally again I finished it. You certainly stirred something deep inside of me." -- R.C.
"This book has meant so much to so many of us. It still comes up in our book club discussions." -- E.B.

"An extraordinary piece. I felt the pain of all the characters." -- C.G.
"This is a God-inspired book. It brought back emotions from my childhood that I needed to deal with." -- Hope
"I absolutely loved this book! It's an amazing story of love and redemption." -- C.F.
"Made me look at my relationship with my mother in a whole new light." -- C.W.
"This book touched me so much. It's made me look at my own life and relationships with my family. You have blessed me deeply." - K.E.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; First Edition edition (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310242428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310242420
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,060,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages." -- Publishers Weekly

"Collins keeps coming with fascinating, unique plots." --RT BookReviews

"Brandilyn Collins, the queen of Seatbelt Suspense®, certainly lives up to her well-deserved reputation." -- CBA Retailers

"[Collins is] a master of her craft ... intensity, tension, high-caliber suspense, and engaging mystery." -- The Christian Manifesto

"Collins keeps the reader gasping and guessing ... artistic prose paints vivid pictures ... High marks for original plotting and superb pacing." -- RT BookClub

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademarked Seatbelt Suspense®--fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels with rich characters. She is often blamed for keeping her readers up at night, as they "just have to see what happens next."

In nonfiction, Brandilyn is known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). Writers Digest Magazine named Getting Into Character one of the top books on writing of 2002.

You can read excerpts from all Brandilyn's books at her Web site: www.brandilyncollins.com. That's also a good place to subscribe to her free newsletter, Sneak Pique, so you can be among the first to know about her latest releases.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Color the Sidewalk for Me" is a well-written inspirational novel of family struggles and disappointments. Ms. Collins uses flashback effectively and her characters are believable.
This is a story of failure and forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. After years of heartache and rejection, Celia finally discovers the reason for her mother's coolness and seeming lack of love. Faith (and the lack of it) is portrayed believably and without preachiness.
The competition between her grandfather and his friend is a humorous touch that is interwoven throughout the story.
I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This was the first book I have read from Brandilyn Collins and I was impressed beyond words. An avid reader, it takes a very talented author to have their writting affect me clear to my soul. I usually dislike the past/present method of writing, but Collins used this method so successfully, and this story could not have been written using another.
This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. I thank the author for sharing this story - one that was inspired by a family tradition. Spending time on this book has been such a pleasant expereince.
I recommend this book to anyone who has loved and lost and who won't mind feeling sentimental...and for one who acknowledges how God always brings us through our trials. And everything always works for the best in His time.
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Format: Paperback
This book will be another bestseller for Brandilyn Collins. This sequel to "Cast a Road Before Me" carries the reader through the travails of Celia, a thirty-five-year-old woman who fell away from her faith in God years ago.
Celia, a high-powered advertising executive, finds out that her beloved father suffered a stroke and needs her help. She must return to Bradleyville to nurse him, yet she dreads the inevitable confrontation with her mother. As a child, she attempted to show love to Mama and was coldly rebuffed. Now, years later, the painful past comes back and must be reckoned with.
The book alternates between the present and Celia's past. Revealing only enough to make the reader want more, the story fluctuates smoothly between eras. The climactic scene lies hidden and the reader breathlessly awaits the culmination of this family's ordeal.
"Color the Sidewalk for Me" reads like a book club selection. Filled with emotional turmoil, agony, and sorrow, Celia bleeds her heart out to the reader. We feel her pain, sympathize with her, and yearn for her to heal. Her suffering acts as a catharsis for our own yen to be understood and loved unconditionally.
reviewed by Terri for Christian Bookshelf
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I am so thrilled when I find a new author that has the ability to push me from page to page, and I have found one here. I will definately continue to look for more books by Ms. Collins.
This book was impressive to say the least. I love the way she forced me to look at myself and others in a new light. I will coloring many a sidewalks from now on. Sidewalk chalk will be a staple in my car for that one that needs to know how special they are!
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Format: Paperback
Color the Sidewalk For Me is about a woman, Celia, who returns home after a 17 year absence to nurse her father back to health after having a stroke. She struggles through her tumultous relationship with her mother and unresolved feelings for the love of her life, Danny.
This book was so good that I had a hard time putting it down. The way the author wrote the romance and the love between Celia and Danny made me ache and root for this couple. This couple clearly loved each other very much.
I liked how Collins used the past/present sections of the book. Some authors lump the past in with the present in a chapter, and it becomes confusing to read. But the way this author wrote about the past was excellent, giving us a good foundation of the problems between Celia and her mother, and what went wrong between Danny and Celia.
I loved how Collins brought in the characters from Book 1 of the Bradleyville series. Jessie and Lee had gotten married, Mrs. B was portrayed as a nosy busybody, and she continued the "feud" between Jake and Thomas. That feud added humor into a book with so many serious overtones.
The character development was wonderful. The characters weren't goody-goody characters like in some Christian books, but are real people with flaws, hurts, etc. From this book, I had a good idea of why Estelle was so coldhearted at times and why Celia led such a lonely existence.
And the Christian theme came out really good, about turning your eyes towards Jesus and not letting the past destroy you. There was also the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I can't wait until I read the next book in the Bradleyville series. I know that the focus of the book will be on another group of characters, but I am hoping to find that Celia and Danny have worked things out and gotten married.
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This book is an easy read, but the main character's personality surprised me. The author is obviously Christian, as the theme is recurrent throughout the book. The protagonist constantly comes back to the fact that she must repair her faith, but she is so selfish it's hard to get past it. I found the suspense factor was good, keeping me riveted to the end. I just had to find out what the end result was - a nice surprise at the end when it all came together. I had a really hard time with the characteristics of someone being portrayed as being so selfish and narrow-minded. Just my own opinion.
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