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The Color of the Soul (The Penbrook Diaries, Book 1) Paperback – October 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593104448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593104443
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

The story of an old woman's need for forgiveness, a young man's drive to succeed, and the history that links them both will keep readers enthralled from beginning to end. A Pandora's box opens when reporter Andy Carmichael, too light-skinned for acceptance by blacks and too dark-skinned for acceptance by whites, is sent to Georgia to interview Miss Penbrook, an icon of Southern literature. From her deathbed, the mysterious Miss Penbrook gives Andy journals that reveal a surprising twist--"her story and his own meld into one. Will Andy discover the secrets that link their lives before Miss Penbrook dies?

From the Back Cover

"Sometimes knowledge is freedom, and sometimes it’s simply a trap."

A young reporter covering the story of a lifetime… An old woman with nothing to lose...

The year is 1948. When Andy Carmichael travels to Georgia to cover the story that will make his career, he finds there is more at stake than an article. His marriage, his life, his very soul are on the line.

Will Andy expose the century-old secrets buried deep within the yellowed pages of the Penbrook diaries? Will the truth he finds set him free?

Customer Reviews

Story of love, loss, prejudice and redemption.
Arlene Gahl
The Color of the Soul is a very well written story that pulls at the heart strings.
Amazon Customer
I liked this book, it was an easy read and the story kept me guessing till the end.
Ms. Amy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Shannon McNear on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Color of the Soul by Tracey Bateman is about a young black man's struggle to find his identity and carve out his own niche in a world where only whites are regarded with respect. Along the way, he discovers the truth about his own past and family heritage.

As a northerner transplanted to the Deep South, I was impressed with the author's handling of the subject of Southern race relations in both 1948 and the 1800's, and with her attempt to bridge the gap between whites and blacks.

But this is far more than a story about being black or white-it's a powerful illustration of God's ability to redeem tragedy and heartbreak. The book drew me in from the first page, and at the last kept me up till 3 AM. I wept through the last pages, then found myself thanking the Lord for His similar mercy in my own life, and for allowing me to experience what love and happiness that I have.

When a story can turn us so fully to praise of God's redeeming hand, it doesn't get much better. This one's a keeper . . . a life-changer . . . don't miss it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Sutton on November 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Color of the Soul is an amazing story that packs a powerful punch. Gritty and true-to-life, once you start reading it's impossible to put this book down. The novel has the flavor of Roots by Alex Haley with a twist of the modern pre-civil rights feel of the deep south. A young black man discovers his true heritage as he learns family secrets through reading the Penbrook Diaries. Intricately woven detail, excellent characterization, scandal and intrigue all set this novel apart from most. The author clearly has a gift for writing historical fiction and probing deep issues of the heart. She does an excellent job at making the reader think about all that they hold dear and will have the reader choked up through half the book. The strongest emotion I experienced while reading The Color of the Soul was regret. I wish Cat had made different choices in her life and I totally identified with her plight and the plight of the men who loved her. This story is an excellent portrayal of how people think they know what's best. If only Cat had trusted in God rather than trying to manipulate things herself, she may have had the love she longed for and the life she dreamed of. Unfortunately, by the time she discovered all that she had lost, it was too late. I hated for the story to end and am SO looking forward to the sequel to this novel. :)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeanette Hanscome on October 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
Tracey Bateman's The Color of the Soul reminds me of the multi-generation epic sagas that I devoured in high school. Her characters became so real to me that I know they will stay with me for a long time. The story pulled me right into the Southern world of Andy, his ancestors, and a mysterious 100-year-old woman.

The author does not hold back the brutality of slavery and racism. Though it's hard to take at times the violence is never senseless. In fact, the horrors and injustices that Cat, Andy, and other characters face add power to the message of redemption and healing. Instead of my typical "I'm sure glad that I didn't live back then" response, I found myself with a deeper appreciation for those who endured such dark periods of American history.

This is the first book that I have read by Tracey Bateman-the first of many I hope. She has found a new fan. I eagerly await the next book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DeroshDerash on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Color Of The Soul is beyond words, but here goes... I could not put it down till the very end. This is Christian fiction that does not water down the evil of slavery. A black newspaper reporter in the 1940's returns to his childhood home in the south to cover a 100 year old plantation mistress' story. Soon her life story causes him to question his. He comes face to face with his past, is challenged by the present, and makes choices that will decide his future. This book kept me guessing till the very end. It reminded me of the movie Crash in it's ability to show the humanity of the races.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Raney on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was well-written--especially the dialogue--and kept me guessing and surprised to the very last page. The author did an excellent job of weaving between 1948 and the mid-late 1800s, tying the stories of past and present together in a way that pointed to God's redemptive nature. Though this is the first book in a series, it didn't leave the reader hanging at the end (like too many series books do). All the threads of the story were satisfyingly wrapped up, yet I turned the last page eager to revisit the characters and curious about whose story Book 2 will tell.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Messick on February 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was wonderful. It makes clear the danger that some black and whites took to love one another, and it shows the true color of the soul. This book will change your life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By luvs2read on October 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
If, The Color of the Soul, were a Broadway play, it would receive a standing ovation.

This captivating story is about a black man, Andy Carmichael, who is transported back in time through the journals of an old woman. What Andy finds in them, changes his life forever.

Prepare to be swept back into an era where the "free" weren't really free, and things were not as they appeared to be.

Tracey Bateman, you've outdone yourself. This remarkable story blew me away, and imprisoned my mind for a long time after I had finished reading it. I can't get enough of your stories. Each one of them is as delightful and enjoyable as a fresh spring rain. Keep up the fantastic work!
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