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Color Blind: A Memoir

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Born in London to a Nigerian princess, Precious Williams saw her life change radically in its first months. Her mother, deciding she couldn't raise a child, placed an ad for foster care in Nursery World. A response soon came from a woman in rural Sussex, and Precious, three months old, was handed off in a basket.

Nan, Precious's new foster mother, was sixty years old and wh
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is wow! What a moving, incredible story. It is a story about overcoming adversity and prevailing against life's imperfect circumstances. Precious writes her story with an honesty and clarity that is sometimes lacking in memoirs. Her writing style is smooth and the story flows nicely. This story was not written to amuse, or to make the reader laugh. It is a poignant story that at times, hurts your heart, and at other times fills it with hope.

I was unaware of the practice of the fost
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Precious Williams is placed in a foster home by her Nigerian mother three months after her birth. “Nanny,” her white foster mother in her late fifties, raises her in an all-white neighborhood in Sussex, England.

Precious’ birth mother visits irregularly and when she does show up she’s abusive physically and emotionally with no regard for the harmful situations she’s placing her daughter in.

Williams’ story is about her search for identity. The memoir focuses primarily on her childhood and teen yea
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The description sounded interesting, but I really thought it would be a "look how much I accomplished despite how terrible my early life was" type of story. Instead, it was an honest look at a difficult childhood, but the author was unsparing of herself as well. Very impressive.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
A mother decided she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, raise a child. She wasn’t struggling to make ends meet. She wasn’t a student trying to obtain a degree. In fact, she was a Nigerian princess. Yet one September day in 1971, she dropped her daughter off in a basket on a white woman’s doorstep.

Private fostering is supposed to be temporary; yet, nothing about Precious Anita Williams life is traditional. Her case is a little different. She lives in a small English town called Woodview with a white sixty-ye
Given away a few days after birth by her absent and awesome Nigerian mother, Precious Anita Williams is raised in a small town in England by a white family. Color Blind deals with the issue of race, gender, and growing up.

Completely written in the present tense, Ms. Williams throws the reader into the events of her childhood, from her germiphobic adoptive mother to the wild moods of her biological mother to compelling scenes of abuse. Once submerged into the tangled web of the memoir, it is dif
Niki Sorensen
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
What a wonderful book. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Color Blind: A Memoir by Precious Williams. Ms. Williams' book made a dent in my heart. I feel like I want to say, "I understand." I understand the different stages that the author explained as she unraveled the story of her unique life.

This book made me cry several times, I think because Ms. Williams is able to write in such a way that I was able to feel what she felt and see what she saw. I don't want to give away the details of her b
Michael Logan
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Being from Glasgow, I am generally a cynical old get with withered emotions, but there were points in this book that almost made me cry. Sometimes clichés are the best way to express things, so I am just going to come out and say that this is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Precious Williams endured things no human should ever have to suffer and yet she has come through it all to blossom into a wonderful author, who writes with brutal honesty and clarity.

Primarily, th
Amy L. Campbell
Note: This is a review of an Advanced Copy received from the First Reads program, I do my best to review fairly.

This is everything a memoir should be. There's grit and dirt and honesty. Time also has a very real presence in the novel, we definitely get a good glimpse of what it was like to grow up in the '70's and 80's in the United Kingdom. And even though we only get to see brief moments of how Williams turned her life around, this is not a depressing read. There are hard moments, but they are
Marcy prager
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"THIS, I AM TOLD, is how it begins..."

Precious Williams, at the age of three months old, is dropped off by her elegant and disinterested Nigerian mother to be brought up by a sixty year old, white haired, white foster mother who lives in the poor suburb near London. "Nanny," her daughter Wendy, and her husband, who live directly behind her mom, bring up "Anita." Anita is the only "coloured" girl at her school, and she suffers "raciality." She is brought up white, at the request of her biological
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting story, and unlike anything I've read before. That's not to say that there aren't other books like this one, but for me it was different, unique, and enlightening. Precious' story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. While she has overcome so much to become a successful writer, she is still haunted by her past and a mother that never showed her how to love and be loved. There are lessons to be learned from this book and truths that we'd rather ignore, but there is al ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is more than just a memoir and has a lot to say about childhood, Britain in the 1970s, class, race, identity, culture and motherhood. In addition, the book examines the issue of black children fostered by white families and the emotional and identity based conflicts this causes.

Precious Williams achieves a sensitive exploration of all of these issues and produces a provocative, warm, disturbing and at times hilarious memoir; I was pleasantly surprised and I read it in one sitting. When I p
Susan (The Book Bag)
Wow! What an amazing book! And what an amazing woman, to come through the ordeal called her life, to make it to where she is today.

Even though she was given up to a foster home as a baby by a mother who apparently couldn't be bothered with a child, unless it was convenient for her, Precious spend most of her life looking for love and acceptance from her mother. This book was at times very disturbing to read, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to live this life.

The author did surv
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
At first I was just fascinated by the cultural aspects of this book. I did not know that it was common practice for Nigerians to have their children fostered in Europe. I was enthralled by Precious Williams' description of her childhood as an African growing up in an all-white English town. Then I was heartbroken for her. She describes the emotional trauma that stemmed from wondering if her mother loved her, from wondering why she was so different from everyone else in her town. It was at times ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I loved this book and read it very quickly, as I was so interested in what happened to this little girl. It is a very raw and honest memoir of Precious life. I went through a world wind of emotions reading this, I was crying,happy and angry at some parts. This book is very well written and to the point. Precious is an inspirational lady and I thank her for sharing her story with us. The only thing for me is I would of liked to have found out more, like did she see her mother again?, Her sister a ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading a memoir I always wonder if I have a right to review or rate it. In this instance I can honestly say that this is one of the most forthright, honest, and interesting memoirs I've read in quite a while. No 'poor, poor pitiful me' or 'drama' for the sake of selling this work.

If you want to read a book that leaves you feeling like you've learned and felt a lot and still have much to process then this one's for you.

I'm happy to say that the ending is not sappy or totally predictable.
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
"Precious" is stunning, heart-breaking and gut-wrenching.

Beautifully written, the 'little girl lost' tale defies presumptions nad stereotypes. I laughed (the hair), cried (the abuse) and reminisced (the hip hop and Wagon Wheels). I swung between the vasts ends of human emotions. I wasn't allowed to wallow for a second.

This is simply written and gripping - I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it to everyone who is literate. Precious has a spinal cord of tempered steel. Rock. Star.

Faye Bierbower
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just proving that I really will read anything ... I received this as an Advanced Reading Copy through the First Reads program. This is a gripping memoir which strives to give an honest--and sometimes disturbing--reflection of the author's early life. Although not everyone might relate, I found it fascinating (read this in less than a day, aside from riding three horses and setting-up for a horse show!). In sum, highly recommended to anyone who is looking for book club material!
Sally Van Slyke
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brought me back to the 70's and memories of when I was growing up. Could relete to Precious and the emtions she had. Would recommed the book to anyone. Would like to have a follow up book to see how Precious is doing now.
Mechele McDaniel Rose
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a great memoir. Heartbreaking at times. I wasn't aware that many African mothers sent their children to live in foster homes in England, or that these mothers can be so cold and cruel to their children. What a sad way to live.
Bonnie Levy
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was a wonderful win from Goodreads!
I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt like Precious was standing next to me telling me her life story. It was heartwrenching and eye opening and recommend it to all!
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a really great read. I felt myself on an emotional roller coaster. Having been through some similar thing in the book I felt a bit of kinship. I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

*received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Clive Anderson
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the metaphors and similes accurate and enjoyable,
it was a disturbing read for me, but it ended in a kind of triumphant manner. I would recommend it to all facebook members as a modern day inspirational book of the human spirit overcoming adversity.
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
A difficult story told with an expert touch. I just wish the author had been a little clearer on chronology; it took pages and pages before she even mentioned a decade, and years passed in the oddest fashion.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked the book. Sometimes I little hard to understand because of the British slang/dialouge but other than that very interesting.
Catherine Gill
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely well written memoir that is by turns disturbing, humorous and inspirational.
Sep 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book. It was boring. 80 pages in and I still didn't care about any of the characters or this women's plight. I stopped reading midway.
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Hard to read but important to read.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This author has a talent for telling a story. She has been through a lot of turmoil in her young life but has been able to climb upward and shine her light on the world.
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Contact Precious at

PRECIOUS WILLIAMS' first book, 'Precious, A True Story', published by Bloomsbury in August 2010, is a memoir about growing up in trans-racial private foster care. (A US edition, titled 'Color Blind', is published by Bloomsbury USA). Precious's story has been featured on Sky News and BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour and in the Daily Telegraph, the

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