In the 1920s in Sugarlock, Tennessee, the scandal surrounding the birth of Wheat Grass destroys the marriage and family of Paul and Mildred Grass. Wheat's fair skin and green eyes cause a rift that leads to the death of her mother separating what remains of the once happy family. In Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Paul raises his wife's illegitimate child alongside his daughter, Olive. But Wheat's exotic look draws negative attention that Paul cannot bear alone in the racist South.
After her parents’ death, Olive blames her sister for ruining her life, and eventually finds herself running from color to Chicago leaving their grandmother to raise Wheat alone. But when Wheat's existence causes tension in Sugarlock, Wheat must run from color herself, and the only safe place for her is with her estranged sister in Chicago.
Olive begrudgingly takes Wheat in where Wheat learns that Olive hates her for circumstances outside her control, and that Olive has succumbed to society's color line. Will they put aside their physical differences and tackle the hurt from the past, or will they run from color again?
Running from Color tells a story of being on opposing shades of the chocolate rainbow, a story that belongs to many, but has been largely silenced in the African American community.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 6.75 out of 10
Plot: Moreniké paints a vivid portrait of a family living in the deep south during the 1920s. The novel addresses complex issues of the time and presents intriguing stories along the way. However, some of the plot lines are left unresolved, which may leave readers with significant questions.
Prose: Moreniké uses some beautiful imagery to describe the hard and complicated lives of the Grass sisters, Olive and Wheat. While the dialogue enhances the plot and characters, it sometimes feels out of place or explanatory.
Originality: Moreniké takes on a host of serious topics in an attempt to discuss a subject that is not frequently broached in fiction.
Character Development: Readers are quickly brought into the world of the Grass sisters and will be eager to see their stories through to their conclusion. Both Olive and Wheat face multiple devastating hardships; readers may wish their motivations and thoughts were more fleshed out in the face of their adversities.
Date Submitted: April 12, 2018