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Color Me Butterfly: A Novel Inspired by One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph
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Color Me Butterfly: A Novel Inspired by One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Inspired by a true story, Color Me Butterfly follows four generations of mothers and daughters—haunted by a common specter of domestic abuse—as they discover the strength, hope, and courage to survive.

The last thing Eloise Bingham wanted was to leave the comforts of her South Carolina home and family. But at the end of World War II, the young wife follows her husband, Isa
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Broadway Books (first published February 5th 2007)
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I loved this book. It takes you back to a time when women stuck by their husbands through the good AND the bad. Today, a lot of us women would have a hard time accepting the choices these ladies made. Lydia introduces us to the curse that affected four generations in her family. Even though each women chose to suffer in silence, they come to accept things for what they were. Eventually, life changes are made.

This book was well written and has great flow.
I did enjoy this book very much. It gives a very concise look at how women get caught up in abusive relationships and how they come to be in them longer than others would think humanly possible. There are no angels in this book and yet there are countless innocents. Some could criticise this book for not delving deeper and giving the whys for the abusive men. It is a reality for those in the relationships not to know the reason why. When children get beaten by a parent or both parents it is true ...more
I gave this book 4 stars because I read it in no time so it must have been interesting to me.

It was really hard for me to read because it hit home for me as it probably does for many women. Not that I was ever abused by a man, but I was raised by and around women who were. This book was given to me years ago by my mother. I wouldn't say that we are astranged but our relationship is far from what it should be.

As I was reading I found myself wondering if she gave it to me to help me understand wh
This is the story of family of women who got caught in a generational cycle of abuse by the men in their lives. I have always been interested in the psychology of what makes a woman stay in such abusive relationships. I did get some insights into their feelings of shame, isolation,damaged self esteem and enduring for their children's sakes. Every slap, punch, kick, or named called I read about hurt me deeply and I hated these men. However, this book taught me the importance of forgiveness(which ...more
Nandi Crawford
This isn't the prettiest story but it's someone's story nonetheless. It is a story of four generations of women. It starts when Isaac Bingham leaves the South and finds work in the north; when he returns home, he meets the young lady that will become his wife, Eloise, falls in love and brings her north too. It seems when they start having children, the violence began. He would beat her and the kids. make them eat rat if they pee the bed; aww he was the ghetto Hannibal Lector. Out of that union, ...more
I would not have finished this had it not been a book club selection. Sad story, but not well written, in my opinion. It seemed to read like a list of abusive events, with no depth, no why's behind it all. I understand the author's purpose in telling the story, though. I just did not enjoy reading it and couldn't wait to finish so I could move on to something better.
Kasa Cotugno
Lydia tells her story in a voice that is resonant with courage. She uses the experiences of four generations of women, from her grandmother through her daughter, to chronicle a history of domestic abuse that in some cases defies belief. It would be almost too much to bear as fiction; as memoir, it is devastating. What makes these remarkable women so strong and gives them the wherewithal to survive is their unbreakable spirit and love for one another and their families. The fact that at least two ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Sharon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Sharon by: I read the reviews on amazon
Color me butterfly was a good read four generations of abuse at the hands of mans, from husband, to boyfriend, to grandfather. Then women behind the story from mother, to grandmother , to great-grandmother to see the changes and the strenght they had. Elosie didn't know marrying Isaac would be like it was and the six kids she had to rasied by herself would be so hard. Then there ws mattie who start to be aubuse just like her mother until tragedy change her life, and break her free from the pass ...more
An amazing book, I highly recommend it to everyone. I found it so hard to put it down. So many parts of the book got me so thoroughly involved that my stomach would clench and I would try and read faster and faster to get to the next part. It amazes me the strength that people carry within them and how they can continue on with their lives and still experience growth when it seems impossible. I loved each person's foundation of growth slowly meandered it's way down through the generations of wom ...more
Crown Publishing Group
I could not put this book down - and I needed a copious amount of tissues. Inspired by a true story, this haunting tale proves that it's possible to rise above the unspeakable pains in our lives and create something beautiful. It follows four generations of women and children coping with domestic abuse and the strength, hope and courage that they had to discover within themselves.
I stumbled across this book in the library, and had never heard of the author; the cover and the synopsis hooked my attention, and I decided to check it out. This was a very heart wrenching read, but a very beautifully written one. The story flows well, the characters leap off the page at you, and you find yourself talking to them, yelling at them, and at times praying for and with them. One thing that I loved about the book is that the author put pictures of the actual people she wrote about, s ...more
Jan Mcclung-short
Absolutely beautiful story of African American women and the struggle that they faced in raising their children and the battles they endure, some won, some lost.

This story relates to women of all races because we have all been in one of these battles with our relationships.

This story gives hope to me that my daughter willone day love me unconditionally and see that I'm not the bad guy. I love her dearly and endured more than I have shared due to shame and just wanting to forget. My life wasn't
Brandi Bryant
Loved it. Inspirational, poignant and beautifully told.
Authors & Readers Book Corner
Color Me Butterfly by L. Y. Marlow is a story of four generations birthed by the union of Isaac and Eloise Bingham. The author shares the stories of four women who deal with different types of abuse. Eloise’s love for her children and faith in God helped her get through the trials in her life and to move past her husband’s ways.

Mattie never wanted to be like her mother but finds herself in the same situation. After a tragic accident occurs, Mattie realizes a change needs to happen and she has to
Maureen Huseman
Color Me Butterfly tells the story of 5 generations of black women. The struggles that these women had to go through gave me some perspective on my own life. It can be viewed as an encouragement of what you can make out of your own life. It has sad moments and moments that make you wonder why they did what they did. But then you realize life is truly a journey and everyone has ups and downs - some worse than others. Color Me Butterfly is a quick read - sad at times, hopeful at others.
He like the girl and the girl like him so he ask her to move in with him but she do not want to leave her family . She have a baby by him and they love each other but he was starting to hit her after having his other baby . They had six kids and he was hitting all of them without clothes an . I like the book .
A gripping book about 4 generations of black women who suffered unmentionalbe abuse at the hands of the spouses and boyfriends. Mattie, Eloise, Lydia and Treasure each represent a generation that is abused. The cycle goes on and on, until Lydia, the grandaughter, finds out that Treasure, the great grandaughter, has been sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Lydia is brave enough to stand up and stop the cycle of abuse.

The book is well written and is a fictional account of the family of
This is a novel based on a true story. It is the story of four generations of an African American family from 1940 to present--their trials, hopes, struggles to overcome domestic abuse. Although a sad book, I enjoyed reading it.
True story written in third-person fiction format. Painful story of generations of Black women and their abusive men. A powerful story of forgiveness. Gave me a lot to think about.
What a touching life story. Cannot begin to understand the pain and suffering of these women but what is most empowering is that they picked themselves up and made themselves stronger.
Excellent book - really got me thinking. Four generations of women and domestic abuse. Tough subject matter, but a very good read.
The book follows four generations of women who suffered abuse at the hands of husbands or boy friends. You have to admit that the women were the stronger of the sexes - they survived & even were able to forgive. The thing I liked the best about the book is the fact that the last person in the four generations went to college & seemed to be free of the cycle of abuse. I don't think she would've been able to do it without the example of her mother & the other maternal figures in her fa ...more
Sharon Buckley
This story was hard to read at times but the women showed such courage and perseverance that at the end it was uplifting.
Wow! Was there anything this poor family didn't go through?!
Great book about strong women who did everything for their family.
Loved it. A true journey of strong women pulling themselves out of poverty and despair.
Kimberly Mcginnis bonner
Generational story about love, hope, and pain of abuse. It was quick read and enjoyable.
Robyn Renzy
I enjoyed reading this book as the writing was superb. I didn't realize it was a true story until I got to a point that I figured out the author must have been one of the characters. I was shocked by the violence perpetrated on the children and women by the male characters. Some of the scenes were hard to read and at one point I just gasped out loud. In all it was well written but at the end I felt saddened by the behavior of the male characters and it was hard to envision so many generations of ...more
Winter  Sophia Rose
Touching, Heartwrenching & Informative! A Powerful Read! I Loved It!
What is it about depressing books that make reviewers swoon?! A lady in a bookstore at the Baltimore airport talked me into buying this book. Since I was stuck on a plane with nothing else to read, I waded through it. Color Me Butterfly tells the stories of several generations of African-American mothers and daughters...each generation's story being more depressing than the last. It was not well-written and there was nothing uplifting or empowering about these womens' stories. It seemed like a r ...more
This book was honest about an often controversial topic and for that alone, I liked it. It doesn't sugar coat the abuse and it doesn't make it into a pity party either. It simply shares the story and I respect that.
I didn't realize until part way through, though, that it was a true story of abuse experienced by several generations in the same family. At times, it was too difficult for me to read. Other times, I couldn't get enough. Definitely a great read for anyone looking for something more c
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L.Y. Marlow is the award winning author of Color Me Butterfly, the compelling and heart wrenching story that inspired Saving Promise—a national domestic violence prevention organization inspired by five generations of mothers and daughters in her family that survived more than sixty years of domestic violence, and her granddaughter, a little girl named Promise.

Her sophomore novel, A Life Apart (Pe
More about L.Y. Marlow...
A Life Apart Color Me Butterfly: A Novel Inspired by One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph Love: A Woman's Inspirational Journal (A Color Me Butterfly) (A Color Me Butterfly) Reflection: A Woman's Inspirational Journal (A Color Me Butterfly) (A Color Me Butterfly)

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