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Patches of Grey Kindle Edition

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In a story that at times reminded me of Matty Rich s Straight Out of Brooklyn, Roy L. Pickering, Jr. deftly weaves a coming of age tale of Tony Johnson in Patches of Grey. --Review by Reads4Pleasure.com

When I finished reading the first chapter I knew this Author was more than just someone who wanted to write. Roy L. Pickering, Jr. is a Storyteller. Patches of Grey is a deeply complex tale with authentic characters whose personalities are strong and well developed. --Dianne Rosena Jones of Bellaonline.com

Author Roy Pickering does an outstanding job allowing readers into the minds of each character within the Johnson household. Not only effectively capturing their hopes and dreams, but their fears as well. Fears that sometimes push them into making foolish decisions, and even while doing so Mr. Pickering's writing style will cause readers to empathize with the characters' actions, no matter how wrong. But greater than that, PATCHES OF GREY will actually convince readers there are more ways to deal with life's struggles than just black or white, compromise can be found just within the patches of grey. --Delonya Conyers for R.A.W.SISTAZ.com

When I finished reading the first chapter I knew this Author was more than just someone who wanted to write. Roy L. Pickering, Jr. is a Storyteller. Patches of Grey is a deeply complex tale with authentic characters whose personalities are strong and well developed. --Dianne Rosena Jones of Bellaonline.com

Author Roy Pickering does an outstanding job allowing readers into the minds of each character within the Johnson household. Not only effectively capturing their hopes and dreams, but their fears as well. Fears that sometimes push them into making foolish decisions, and even while doing so Mr. Pickering's writing style will cause readers to empathize with the characters' actions, no matter how wrong. But greater than that, PATCHES OF GREY will actually convince readers there are more ways to deal with life's struggles than just black or white, compromise can be found just within the patches of grey. --Delonya Conyers for R.A.W.SISTAZ.com

About the Author

Roy Pickering was born on the idyllic island of St. Thomas and currently resides in a quaint New Jersey town with his wife and daughter. Among his published works is Feeding the Squirrels, a novella that SynergEbooks produces as an ebook. He maintains a website to showcase a number of his short stories online, posts editorial style pieces to his blog A Line A Day, and is active 140 characters at a time on Twitter. While promoting his debut novel PATCHES OF GREY which was named a 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, he is hard at work on a second novel - Matters of Convenience. Anthologies featuring Mr. Pickering's writing include Proverbs for the People (Kensington Books), Role Call (Third World Press), The Game: Short Stories About the Life (Triple Crown Publications), Prose to be Read Aloud: Volume One, Menage a 20: Tales with a Hook, and Forever Travels.

Product Details

  • File Size: 565 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: M.U.D. House Books (February 23, 2010)
  • Publication Date: February 23, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0039PU9X6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,492 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Roy Pickering was born on the idyllic island of St. Thomas and currently resides in a quaint New Jersey town with his wife and daughter. His debut novel, Patches of Grey, has been published by M.U.D. House Books and is available for purchase from Amazon. His novella "Feeding the Squirrels" is published by SynergEbooks in electronic format and can be downloaded to a Kindle at Amazon.

Roy is currently hard at work on a second novel along with a series of children's books being illustrated by his wife. Googling Roy's name will bring up his web site which features a diverse sampling of his prose along with his blog, A Line A Day. His sports editorial writing can be found numerous places online as well.

Anthologies that house Roy's fiction include Proverbs for the People (Kensington Books), Role Call (Third World Press), The Game: Short Stories About the Life (Triple Crown Publications), and Prose to be Read Aloud, Volume One.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on October 12, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
Lionel Johnson vowed to take care of his family at all costs. Working laborious jobs and giving up his aspirations has not only weakened his resolve but has transformed him into a bitter man. A bitter man whose cynical views, although due to the harsh hand life has dealt him, are turning him into a tyrant and demoralizing his entire household. Lionel is desperate to spare his offspring the pain he's endured so he's laying out life's bitter truths in black and white. But life isn't always so clear cut; it's the shades of grey that his family needs to learn about the most. Over the time period the novel encases they'll learn just that.

Lionel's wrath always seems to be bestowing mostly upon his eldest son Tony. Tony is finishing up his senior year of high school and views college as not only as an escape from his domineering father, but as a way to escape his impoverished neighborhood. Lionel views Tony's dream of higher education as a snub towards himself and feels that Tony looks down on him for being nothing more than a laborer. Not only does Lionel think Tony is ashamed of who he is as a father, he thinks Tony is ashamed of being black, especially when Tony starts dating a Caucasian girl.

Tony's character is the primary voice throughout most of the novel. Tony provides a very poignant voice as he deals with feelings of resentment towards his father and also reels from the stigma associated with dating outside of his race. The younger brother, C.J., has no desire to escape the projects in which the Johnson family resides. He foolishly wants to rule them, which he thinks he can by do by joining a gang. Tanya, the middle child, finds her chastity is at stake while she ponders just how far she's willing to go for her first love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OOSA Online Book Club on December 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
"Patches of Grey" is a narrative that focuses on the lives of members of the Johnson family. Tony is the oldest son with dreams of college and a white picket fence life. He desires to escape from his current life of abuse and poverty. However, his younger brother, CJ, believes that Tony is also seeking to escape who he is....a black man in America. Lionel, Tony's father, knows firsthand what it feels like to have dreams denied. He wants his son to not have to face the same fate, so he uses abuse as a way to make Tony see the truth. At the center of Lionel's pain is his own failed relationship with his brother, Manny, who decided to live the dream by turning his back on his family. Twenty-five years later, Manny realizes that his dream has become a nightmare.

"Patches of Grey" is a novel about truth, love, family and sacrifice. It is also about the choices that many black men face daily as they try to survive in America. From gang violence to dating across the color lines, Pickering weaves a complex story of hope, forgiveness, love and dreams deferred. I found myself wondering how I would have reacted in certain situations as the author introduced them in the novel. It also made me question some of the truths I have accepted regarding race relations in America.

Although this novel was an advance reader copy (ARC), I was very distracted by the editing issues. There were pages with "white-out" that had words handwritten in. Also, there were many pages where editing had been missed completely. In the beginning, I was so distracted by these issues that I found it very difficult to even read the book. However, the plot began to pick up and so I was able to overlook those errors enough to read the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terin Miller on July 14, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
Patches of Grey

With "Patches of Grey," Roy L. Pickering's debut novel, coming of age is as difficult as it's always been - except, rather than rant against the alienating conformity and rampant consumerism of earlier generations, the characters must choose a path between soul-crushing disappointments and the violence of surviving in "the projects" and the hopes and dreams youthful confidence and lack of experience generate when one looks outside one's own neighborhood.

And always, because of birth, because of melanin pigmentation in the skin, that dasher of dreams and killer of youth, prejudice lurks to slap hard those who aspire and seems to make life easy for those who don't have to.

This novel could introduce readers early to the essence of one of life's truisms - that living is difficult enough, especially for teenagers, without others trying to make it more difficult for anyone.

Each generation absorbs as much as rejects the teachings of its parents - good and bad - and chooses to find truth lying somewhere in the "Patches of Grey." Or dies believing itself to be whatever it's labeled as.

I recommend this book. In fact, I'd recommend it be on every junior or senior level high school reading list. Maybe earlier. Maybe it can catch the next generation before it gets to the stage of some of the characters in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SW Author on September 9, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
Patches of Grey follows the difficulties of the Johnson family as they struggle to find answers in life. The mother Caren is an optimistic woman, "There are no struggles too difficult for God's love to guide us through." Her husband, Lionel, is embittered and can't find a job to support his family, "He chooses to complain about what hasn't been handed to him." Their 15 year old son CJ lives for his gang, then tries to escape. Their daughter is confused and feels pressure from her boyfriend.
But the story centers around their son Tony. Tony is intelligent with a bright future. He is college bound. He falls in love with a caucasian girl, Janet, whose parents are racists with ridiculous stereotpical ideas of African-Americans. The story revolves around their relationship and the problems they experience as an inter-racial couple.
Pickering's descriptions and metaphors are vivid. "Wide spreading ripples can reach calm waters far removed from where a stone has been tossed."
Pickering asks the question, "When searching for your worth on this planet, is it love or is it power that will accomplish this for you?"
The language is often gritty and not for the faint-hearted.
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