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The Color of Night    by Madison Smartt Bell order for
Color of Night
by Madison Smartt Bell
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Color of Night by Madison Smartt Bell is, I think, a little outside my understanding. I found it difficult to follow just what was happening.

What I had no difficulty understanding is Bell's powerful writing. He writes in a woman's voice and, in lingering words, tells of Mae's abuse by her brother as they grew up and the effects it had on her life as one of the flower child generation.

A blackjack dealer in Las Vegas, she lives on the edge of the desert and frequently roams at night beyond her trailer carrying a gun. Firing into the air gives her satisfaction. As does watching a video of a long ago lover escaping the twin towers on 9/11/01. The lover seems to have moved on, while Mae is caught in a time capsule and can't seem to get a grip on her own life.

Violence plays a role in this novel as it does anywhere in the world at any given time or place. Shocking revelations about Mae's life with a cult stop the reader for an indrawn breath. The Color of Night offers beautiful writing about a not beautiful subject. But then, life is often not beautiful.

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