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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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  100 reviews

Inspired by a true story, Color Me Butterfly follows four generations of mothers and daughtershaunted by a common specter of domestic abuseas 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,

ebook, 400 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Broadway Books (first published February 5th 2007)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  749 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Crown Publishing
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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.
Kathy Rhode
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Although you wonder why some of the women reacted the way they did, you still get how strong they are.
Brandi Bryant
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Inspirational, poignant and beautifully told.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Technically, the book is labeled as fiction, but the basics of the story are a true account of the struggles involving four generations of one family going down the maternal line (and there are some pictures included). It's a tough book to read, difficult to imagine how these women overcame their circumstances, difficult to understand why they stuck around with some men for as long as they did. I enjoyed the few poems in the book, but, overall, I couldn't connect with the writing.
Valerie Mauk
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by a true story, Color Me Butterfly follows four generations of mothers and daughtershaunted by a common specter of domestic abuseas they discover the strength, hope, and courage to survive.

Breaking this cycle of abuse is difficult to achieve as each generation of women suffer at the hands of drunken husbands.

I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to women of all ages.
Reena Matthews
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book like 20 times!!! I love how it tells the family story from generation to generation my favorite character was of course Lydia. I love how strong she was and how her relationship with treasure grew. it was a GREAT READ!
The Unique, Sophisticated Girlfriends Inspirational Reading and Literary Society (U.S. G.I.R.L.S.)
We read Color Me Butterfly and discussed November 3rd, 2004. It was an amazing discussion and author, LY Marlow, her mother and daughter all called in to participate in Q&A

This book is about the cycle of domestic violence and how is spanned over 3 generations of women in the same family
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good
Sereda Harris-aston
Reread this novel

Isaac should have been reported for child abuse. Proud of Lydia for being able to put all the abuse and violence her family sustained into a well versed novel.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book twice and could read it over and over again. The story is so raw. It will take you on an emotional journey.
Sarah Donovan
generational abuse, mothers and daughters, memoir-novel hybrid
Margie Pearson
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty good.
LaQuita Logan
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book spoke to emotions that have no words! The relationships, the heartbreak, the instabilities of everyday living, and the inability of everyday living make this book a must read!
T. Beasley
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. Eloises love for her children and faith in God helped her get through the trials in her life and to move past her husbands 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
Nov 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...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
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kathy-s-shelf
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 ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
I would not have picked this book to read had I seen it sitting on the shelf, rather I had to read it for a class - Domestic Violence. It was a well written, well told story and I actually somewhat enjoyed reading it. This was the 4th book on domestic violence I needed to read and it was not nearly as powerfull as Dave Pelzer's life story, but it did bring to light how domestic violence travels through families. It was a story of 4 generations of woman (in the same family) that endured abuse ...more
Debbie (Can’t breathe w/o a BOOK) D

This book was so very disturbing, I couldn't sleep. Now that's saying something since I'm a Domestic Violence Victims Advocate. This story hurt my heart and resonated with so many other stories I have in my head.
I know it's hard for people to understand the cycles of abuse, but this story gives a gritty story of how things are handed down from generation to the next and finally one breaks the cycle.
I applaud the author for being so transparent and urge others to take a walk in Eloise,
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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 Promisea 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

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