The Color of Lightning: A Novel

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Jun 15, 2010 - Fiction - 384 pages

In 1863, as the War Between the States creeps inevitably toward its bloody conclusion, former Kentucky slave Britt Johnson ventures west into unknown territory with his wife, Mary, and their three children, searching for a life and a future. But their dreams are abruptly shattered by a brutal Indian raid upon the Johnsons' settlement while Britt is away establishing a business. Returning to find his friends and neighbors slain or captured, his eldest son dead, his beloved and severely damaged Mary enslaved, and his remaining children absorbed into an alien society that will never relinquish its hold on them, the heartsick freedman vows not to rest until his family is whole again.

A soaring work of the imagination based on oral histories of the post-Civil War years in North Texas, Paulette Jiles's The Color of Lightning is at once an intimate look into the hearts and hopes of tragically flawed human beings and a courageous reexamination of a dark American history.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - maryreinert - LibraryThing

Besides the fact that there is just a tad bit too much description of the Texas landscape, this is an interesting look at life following the Civil War. Britt Johnson is a freed slave who with this ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

This historical novel was fleshed out from what little is known about Britt Johnson, a freed slave who moved with his family from Kentucky to Texas in 1863. Jiles, who is a poet as well as an author ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

An acclaimed poet, Paulette Jiles is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the bestselling novels Enemy Women and Stormy Weather. She lives on a small ranch west of San Antonio, Texas.

Bibliographic information