Could you accurately portray characters of another race in a novel?
***This is a repeat of an old blog post.
Pink (Shades of Style)
by Marilynn Griffith
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Revell (February 1, 2006)
Meet Raya Joseph, the creative head designer at an up-and-coming new fashion design firm. Like employees of any fledgling company, Raya and her fellow designers face a variety of challenges–especially when it comes to bringing in business. So when they are hired to design a million-dollar wedding gown, these talented and animated designers are thrilled. But there’s one catch. The new customer is the woman who stole Raya’s fiance. Meanwhile, Flex Dunham, an athletic trainer who coaches a charity basketball team, needs team uniforms and soon finds himself in Raya’s shop. Raya hasn’t looked at a man since her engagement fiasco, so when Flex walks into her office, things get a little complicated. The entertaining first novel in the Shades of Style series, Pink offers a perfect mix of likeable characters, sweet drama, humor, and a little bit of romance.
I enjoyed reading this book, and I also loved the way the author made the reader aware about how AIDS really affects our lives. AIDS/HIV is something that I don’t really read much about in Christian fiction.
Raya is hurting. She’s been jilted by her ex-fiancé and she’s also estranged from her wealthy parents. As she desperately tries to make a living as a fashion designer, her friend, Chenille, introduces her to Flex: a personal trainer and a Christian man. The sexual tension between this couple is very strong, and Flex has issues of his own that he’s dealing with. Also estranged from his wealthy parent, both Flex and Raya are trying to make a living on their own, without using the vast wealth of their fathers.
Raya and Flex’s love grows during her early morning training sessions at the gym, and while she assists Flex with coaching his boy’s basketball team. Raya joyously spends time with the young men and especially connects with Jay, an AIDS orphan. As the story unfolds, you’ll find that Flex and Raya are connected in a very unique, surprising, and God-filled way!
Here’s something I never do when I talk about a book. I’m going to quote a couple of sentences from the book that I loved! I guess I loved these sentences because I love sweets so much? I’m not sure, but I love the way the author described this sunset.
From page 254:
The sun dipped below the horizon like a lemon cookie in a bowl of rainbow sherbet. Hues of melon and pink spread across the sky as though God was painting by number.
Those sentences were amazingly tasty and picturesque! I wanted to eat the sun!
Also, if you recall, I blogged about Cami Tang’s book awhile back. I’d mentioned that was the only Christian fiction novel I’d read with Asian characters.
Well, book two in the Shades Of Style series, Jade, has Asian characters.
Which brings me to another topic, people of different nationalities writing about different races. Marilynn is African-American and her second Shades Of Style book has Asian characters. As a matter of fact, each book focuses on a person of a different race:
I remember Marilynn spoke briefly about this at the ACFW 2006 conference in Dallas. It was an interesting discussion. I think it would be hard for me to write an entire novel where the main characters are Asian. I’m not sure if I could portray him/her authentically. However, I’m pretty sure I could pen a novel with Caucasian characters fairly easily. If anybody has read any of the books in the Shades Of Style series, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about them. I enjoyed the first one, and I’ll probably be reading the others sometime in the future.
So, could you accurately portray characters of another race in a novel? Have you read the Shades of Style series? Leave a comment!